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Written in Latin by 



Tranflated into EngUfh. 


Printed for EirtatO C^tftDell at the 
Rofe and Crown in St. Taul's 
Church-Yard. MDCLXXXIV. 





•^Here is no way of writing fp 
proper, for the refining and 
polifhing a Language, as the 
tranflating of Books into it, if he 
that undertakes it, has a competent 
skill of the one Tcngue, and is a 
Matter of the other. When a Man 
writes his own Thoughts, the heat 
of his Fancy, and the quicknefs of 
his Mind, carry him fo much after 
the Notions themfelves, that for 
the moft part he is too warm to judg 
pi the aptnefs of Words, and the 

A $ juft. 

The Preface. 

juftnefs of Figures ^ fo that he either 
negleds thefe too much, or over- 
does them : But when a Man tran- 
flates, he has none of thefe Heats 
about him : and therefore the French 
took no ill Method, when they in- 
tended to reform and beautify their 
Language , in fetting their beft 
Writers on Work to tranflate the 
Greek and Latin Authors into it. 
There is fo little praife got by Tran- 
flations, that a Man cannot be en- 
gaged to it out of Vanity, for it 
has paft for a fign of a flow Mind, 
that can amufeicfelf with fo mean 
an Entertainment ; but we begin to 
grow wifer, and tho ordinary Tran- 
flators mufl fucceed ill in the efteem 
pjF the World, yet fome have ap- 
peared of late that will, I hope, 
bring that way of writing in credit^ 
The Englifh t^anguage has wrought 
it felf out, both of the fulfome Pe- 

T'he Preface. 

dantry under which it laboured long 
ago, and the trifling way of dark 
and unintelligible Wit that came af- 
ter that/ and out of the courle ex- 
travagance df Canting that fucceed- 
ed this : but as one Extream com- 
monly produces another , fo we 
were beginning to fly into afublime 
pitch, of a ftrong but falfe Rhe- 
torick, which had much corrupted, 
not only the Stage, but even the 
Pulpit, two places, that tho they 
ought not to be named together, 
much lefs to refemble one another • 
yet it cannot be denied, but the 
Rule and Meafure of Speech is ge- 
nerally taken from them ; but that 
florid fl:rain is almofl: quite worn out, 
and is become now as ridiculous as it 
was once admired. So that without 
cither the Expence or Labour that 
the French have undergone, our 
Language has, like a rich Wine, 

A 4 wrought 

■^^■'— *^— — ^»" ■■■■■■II - ^ - , . ^ - -, . I , , , . , r . ■ J ■ , . , - - 

The Preface. 

wrought out its Tartar, and is ia- 
infenfibly brought tp a Purity that 
could not have Jbeea compafled 
without much la^bour, ; had it not 
been for the great advantage that 
we have of a Fmce^ who is {o great 
a Judg, that his fingle approbation 
or diflike has almoft as great an Au- 
thority over our Language, as his 
prerogative gives him over our 
Coin. We are now fo much re- 
fined, that how defe(3:iyeloever our 
Imaginations or Reafonings may 
be, yet our Language has fewer 
Faults, and is more natural and pro- 
per, than it was ever at any time 
before. When one cornpares the 
beft Writers of the laft Age, with 
thefe that excel in this, the diffe- 
rence is very difcernable : even the 
great Sir Francis 'BacoUy that was the 
firft that writ our Language correft- 
' V : as he is ftill our beft Author, yet 


the Preface^ 

in fome places has Figures fo (Ironcr^ 
that they could not pals now before 
afeverejudg. I will not provoke 
i:he prefent Mafters of the Stage, by 
prefening the Authors of the latl 
Age to them: for tho they ail ac- 
kaowledg that they corr.e far iliorc 
of S, Johnforiy ^eamont and hktchr^ 
yet 1 believe they are better pleafed 
to fay this themfelves, than to have 
it obferved by others. Their Lan- 
guage is now certainly properer, and 
more natural than it was formerly, 
chiefly fince the corredion that was 
given by the ^ehearfal ; and it is to 
Be hoped, that the Effay on Foetry^ 
which may be well matched with 
the beft Pieces of its kind that even 
Juguftus's Age produced, will have 
a more powerful Operation, if cleat 
fenfe, joined with home but gen- 
tle Reproofs, can work more on pur 


The Preface. 

Writers, than that unmerciful expo- 
fing of them has done. 

I have now much leifure, and 
want diverfion, fo I have be- 
ftowed fome of my hours upon 
Tranflations, in which I have pro- 
pofed no ill Patterns to my felf ; 
but the Reader will be beft able to 
judg whether I have copied skil- 
fully after fuch Originals. This 
fmall Volume which I now publifli, 
being writ by one of the greateft 
Men that this Ifland has produced, 
feemed to me to contain fb many 
fine and well-digefted Notions, 
that I thought it might be no un- 
kind nor ill entertainment to the 
Nation, to put a Book in their 
Hands, to; which they have fo 
good a Title«, and which has a 
ymy common fate upon it, to be 


The Preface. 

more known and admired all the 
World over, than here at Home. 
It was once tranflated into Eng- 
lifh not long after it was written • 
and I was once apt to think it 
might have been done by Sir Tho- 
mas Sldore himfelf: for as it is in 
the Englifli of his Age, and not 
unlike his Stile ; fo the Tranflator 
has taken a liberty that feems 
too great for any but the Author 
himfelf, who is Mafter of his own 
Book, andfo may leave out or al- 
ter his Original as he pleafes : 
which is more than a Tranflator 
ought to do, I am lure it is more* 
than I have prefumed to do. 

,Jri was writ in the Yieair 1516, 
as appears by the Date of the Let- 
ter of ^eter Q'tkys^ in which he 
(ays^ That it;' was fent him but a 


T'he Preface. 

few days before from the Author, 
and that bears date the firft of 2^o- 
Vemher that Year ; but I cannot 
imagine how he comes to be cal- 
led Sheriff of London in the Title 
of the Book, for in all our printed 
Catalogues of Sheriffs, his Name 
is npt to be found. I do not think 
my fclf concerned in the Matter 
of his Book, no more than any o- 
ther Tranflator is in his Author: 
nor do I think JMore himfelf went 
in heartily to that which is the 
chief Bafis of his Utopia^ the ta- 
king away of all Property ^ and the 
levelling the World ^ but that he 
only intended to fet many Notions 
in his Reader's way ; and that he 
might not (eem too much in earned, 
he went fo far out of all Roads to 
do it the lefs fufpeded : the ear-'^ 
iieftnefs with which he recom- 

The Preface. 

mends the precaution ufed in Mar- 
riages among the Utopiansy makes 
one think that he had a misfortune 
in his own choice, and that there- 
fore he was fo cautious on that 
Head . for the ftridnefs of his Life 
covers him from fevcre Cenfures : 
His fetting out fo barbarous a pra- 
aice, as the hiring of Affaffinates 
to take off Enemies, is fo wild and 
fo immoral both, that it does not 
admit of any thing to foften or ex- 
cufe it, much lefs to juftif y it ; and 
the advifing Men in fome Cafes 
to put an end to their Lives, not- 
withftanding all the Caution with 
which he guards it, is a piece of 
rough and fierce Philofophy, The^ 
tendcreft part of the whole Work, 
was the reprefentation he gives of 
Henry the Seventh's Court ; and his 
Difcourfes upon it, towards the 


The Preface. 

end of the firft Book^ in which hi^ 
Difguife is fo thin, that the Matter 
would not have been much plainer 
if he had named him : But when 
he ventured to write fo freely of the 
Father in the Sori'» Reign, and to 
give fuch an Idea of Government 
under the haughtieft Prince, and 
the moi^ impatient of uneafy Re- 
ftraints that ever reighed in Engkndy 
who yec was fo far from being dif- 
pleafed with him for it, that as he 
made him long his particular 
Friend, fo he employed him in all 
his Affairs afterwards, and raifedhim 
to be L.Chancellor,! thought I rrtight 
venture to put it in more Mbderii' 
Englifli : for as the Tranflators of 
PlttUrcVs Herosy or of TuUks Of- 
fices, are not concerned, either in 
the Maxims, or in the Actions that 
idiey relate • fo I, who only tell, in 
Li.i the 

The Preface. 

the beft Englifli I can , what 
Sir Thomas SMore writ in very Ele- 
gant Latin, muft leave his Thoughts 
and Notions to the Reader's cen- 
fure, and do think my felf liable 
for nothing but the fidelity of the 
Tranflation, and the corre^Stnefs of 
the Englifli ; and for that I can on- 
ly fay, that I have writ as carefully^ 
and as well as I can. 

A A A A A A A A A A « & A & & Od w A 6 6 w 


Author's Epifll© 

t d 

Pe ter Gi les. 

I Am almoji ajljahted, niy dearejl Peter 
Giles, to fend yon this Book^ of the 
Utopian Common- Wealth, after al- 
mofi a Tears delay 5 whereas Ho doubi 
yoH looH^d for it within fix Weeh^ : for as 
yOH k^ovi> 1 had ko dccafion foir ujlng my In-- 
vention^ or for taking pajns to put things 
into any method^ hecaufe I had nothing to do^ 
but to repeat exactly thojk things that 1 heard 
Raphael relate in your prefence 3 fo neither 
was there any occajion given for & Jludied 
Ejloquence : Jince as he deliijered things to us 
of the fndden^ and ih d carelifs Stile 5 fo 
h$ £eip^^ 4s yoit k^ow^ 4 greaUT Majier of 

The Author's Epiftle 

the Greek^^ than of the Latin 5 the plainer 
my words are^ they will refemhle his fimpli" 
city the more : and will he by confequence the 
marer to the 'truths and that is all that I 
thinks ties on me : and it k indeed the only 
thing in which I thought my felf concerned, 
1 confefs^ I had very little left on me in this 
Matter^ for otherwife the inventing and or- 
dering of fitch a Scheme^ would have put a 
Man of an ordinary pitchy either of (^apaci* 
ty^ or of Learnings to fame pains ^ and have 
coft him fome time 5 hut if it had been ne* 
cejjary that this T^latien fwuld have been 
made^ not only truly, but eloquently^ it could 
never have been performed by me, even after 
all the pains and time that I could have 
heflowed upon it. My part in it was fo very 
fmall, that it could not give me much trou- 
ble, all that belonged to me being only to give 
a true and full account of the things that 1 
had heard : but although this required fo ve- 
ry little of my time 5 yet even that little was 
long denied me by my other Affairs, which 
prefs much upon me : for while in pleadings 
and hearings and in judging or compofwg 
of Caufes, in waiting on fome Men upon Bu- 
finefs, and on others 09tt of Rejpeff, the 
greatefl part of the Day is fpent on other 
M&ns Affairs^ the remainder of it mufl be 


to P ETE R Gil es. 

given to my Family at home : So that I can 

nferve no fart of it to my felf that is^ to 

f^y Study : Imufi talk, ^ith my Wife^ and 

chat with my Children^ and I have fomevphat 

to fay to my Servants 5 for all thefe things I 

recl^nas apart ef Buftnefs^except a Man will 

refolve to be a Stranger at Home : and with 

vphomfoever either Nature^ Chance^ or Choice 

has engaged a Man^ in any Commerce^ he 

mnft evdtuvour to mak§ himfelf as acceptable 

to thefi about him^ as he pojfibly can 5 ufing 

jlill fiich a, temper in a, that he may not fpoil 

them by at^ excejjim gentknefi^ fo that his 

Servants may not become his Majiers. I^ 

fuch things as I have named to you^ dcf Days^ 

Months J and Tears flip avpay 5 what Is then 

left for Writing ^ and yet 1 h'^ve faid nO" 

thing of that time that mufi go for Sleeps 

or for Meat : in which many do wajie almofl 

as much of their time^ as in Sleeps vfihicb 

confumes very near the half of our Life 5 

'4nd indeed Ml the time which I can gain to 

my felf is that which I fieal from my Sleep 

4nd my Meals ^ and becauji that is not 

much^ I have made hut a flow progrefs $ yet 

hecaufe it is fomewhat^ I have at laji got to 

an end of my Utopia, which I now fend to 

yon^ andexpeS that after you have read it^ 

ym will kt me k^ovp if you cm put me in mind 

B 2 ef 

The Author's Epiftle 

of atjy thing that has efcaped me 5 for tho I 
TfOhld thinks my felf very hafpy^if I had hut 
as mhih Invention and Learning as I k^ow I 
have Memory^ Uphich makes me generally dC" 
pend much upon it^ yet I do not relie Jo en* 
tirely on it, as to think lean forget nothing. 

My Servant John Clement has Jiarted 
fome things that Jfjake nie : Ton kjtow he was 
prefent with us, as I thinly he ought to he at 
every Converfation that may he of nfe to him^ 
for I promife my felf great Matters from the 
progrefi he has fo early made in the Greeks 
and Roman Learning. As far as my Me* 
mory ferves me, the Bridg over Anider at 
Amaurot, was 500 paces broad, according 
to Raphael/ account 5 but John affures me^ 
he Jpoke only of 300 paces 5 therefore I pray 
you recolleS what you can remember of this, 
for if you agree with him, I will believe that 
I have been mijlak^n 5 but if you remember 
nothing of it, I will not alter what I have 
written, hecaufe it is according to the beji of 
my remembrance : far as I will tak§ care that 
there may be nothing falfly fet down ^ fi ^ 
there is any thing doubtful, tho I may perhaps 
tell a lie, yet I am Jure I will not make one 3 
for I would rather paji for a ^ood Man^ 
than for a wife Man : hut it will be eajy to 
correhthis ^ifiakf^^ if y9H can either meet 


CO Peter Giles. 

mth Raphael bintfdf^ or h^ow how to roriu 
to him, 

I have another Difficulty that frejjes me 

more^ and mak^s your writing to him the 

t^Qre neceffary : I J^ow not whom I ought to 

blame for it^whether Raphael,^^;^5(?r myfelf^ 

for a^ we did notthink^of askingit^fo neither 

did he of telHng us^ in what part of the newr 

found (Vorld Utopia is Jituated '^ this was 

fuch an omijfion that I would gladly redeem 

if at any rate : I am ajt)amed^ that after I 

have told Jo many thwgs concerning this 

Ifland^ I cannot let my Readers kpow in 

what Sea it lies. There are fome among us 

that have a mighty dejre to go thifher^ and 

in particular^ one pious Divine is very ear^ 

nefi on it^ not fo much out of a vain curioR^ 

ty of fieing unknown Countries^ as, that he. 

may advance our Religion^ which is fo hap* 

fily begun to be planted there 5 and that he 

may do this regularly^ he intends to procure 

a Mijjion from the Pope^ and to be fent thi^ 

ther as their Bijbpp. In fuch a cafe as this^ 

he mal^s no fcruple of afpiring to that Cba^ 

rdiJer^ and thinl^s it is rather meritorious tQ 

be ambitious of it^ when one dejires it only 

for advancing the Chrijiia^ Religign^ and not 

for any Honour or Advantage that may be 

had by it, but is alfed meerly by a pious Zeal. 

B g There^^ 

The Author's Epiftle 

Therefore I earnejily beg it of you^ if yon 
can pojjihly meet with Raphael, or if yen 
know how to write to him^ that you will he 
f leafed to inform your felf of thefe things^ 
that there may be no falfjood left in my 
Book^^ nor any important Truth wanting. 
And perhaps it will not he unfit to let him fee 
the Book^ it felf: for hs no Man can corred 
any Errors that may be in itj fo well as he 5 
fo by reading it^ he will be able to give a 
more perfe& judgment of it than he can do 
npon any Difiourje concerning it : and you 
will be likewife able to difcover whether this 
Z)ndertal{ing of mine is acceptable to him or 
not 5 for if he intends to write a Relation of 
his Travels^ perhaps he will not be pleafed 
that I JJjould prevent him^ in that part that 
belongs to the Utopian Common- Wealth 5 
fnce if I Jhould do fo^ his Book^ will not 
furprize the World with the pleafure which 
this new "Difcovery will give the Age. And 
lam fo little fond of appearing in print up- 
m this occafion^ that if he diflih^s it^ I will 
lay it ajide 3 ^/fnd even though he Jl)ould ap^ 
prove of it^ I am not poftively determined 
as to the publijlnng of it. Mens tafles dij^r 
much ^ fome are of fo morofe a Temper^ fo 
four a Dijpojition^and mak^fuch abfurd Judg- 
ments of Things^ that Men of chearful and 


to Peter Giles. 

lively Tempers^ who indulge their Genius, 
feem much more happy ^ than thofe who wajie 
their time and jireKgth in order to the pub- 
lijinng fome Book^^ that tho of it felf it 
might be ujeful or pleafavt^ yet inflead of bet- 
ing wellreceived^will be fare to be either loa* 
thed at^ or cenfared. Many kpovp nothing 
of Learning^and others defpifeit : a Man that 
is accffjiomed to a courje and harjl) Sile^ 
thinks every thing is rough that is not barba-^ 
rous. Our tricing Pretenders to Learnings 
thinks all is flight that is not dreji up in 
words that are worn out ofuji'^fome love only 
old things^ and many lik^ nothing but what 
is their own. Some are fo fourjtbat they can 
allow no Jejis^ and others arefo dull that they 
can endure nothing that is fharp 5 and fome 
are as much afraid of any thing that is quick 
or lively^ as a Man bit with a mad Dog is 
of Water 5 others are fo light and trnfetled^ 
that their Thoughts change as quick^as they do 
their Pojiures : and fome^ when they meet 
in Taverns^ take upon them amovg their Cups 
to pafs Cenfures very freely on all Writers 5 
and with a fupercilious liberty to condemn 
every thing that they do not like: in which they 
have the advantage that a bald Man has^ 
who can catch hold of another by the Hair^ 
while the other cannot return the like upon 

? 4 

The Author's Epiftle, .&c. 

him. Thej are fafe as it were of Gun- 
JI)ot^ ftnce there is nothiftg in them conjidera^ 
ble erwttgh to he tah^n hold of. And fome are 
fo Hfithiinkfnl^ that even when they are well* 
f leafed with a Book^^ yet they thinks they owe 
fioihing to the Author ^ and are lil^e thofe 
rude Guejis^ who after they have been well 
et7tertained at a good Dinner^ go away when 
'they have gUiied their Appetites^ rvithoHt fo 
WHch as thanking him that treated them. But 
who would pMt himfelf to the charge of ma- 
l^ng a Feafi for <^en ofjuch nice Palats, 
and fo different Tajies 3 rvho are fo forget^ 
ful of the Civilities that are done them .<? But 
do )pu onc^ clear thofe Points with Raphael, 
and then it will he time enough to conjider 
whether it be Jit to puhhJJ) it or not 5 for 
ftnce I have been at the pains to nfrite it^ if he 
confents to the publijinng it^ 1 T^ill follow my 
Friend' s Advice^ and chiefly yours. Fare* 
wel my dear Peter, commend me kindly to 
your good Wife^ and love me Jiill as you 
ufe to do^ for I affure yon I love you daily 
m(^r^ and mare. 

T H 5 


f f f f f f f f :^ rftf f ^^f 5js|$ 
The Difcourfes of 

Raphael HythlodAy^ 

Of the beft State of a 

Common- Wealth. 

Written hy Sir Thomas More, Citi;^n 
and Sheriff of London. 

HE N U r the 8th, the uncon- 
quered King of Englaftd^ a 
Prince adorned with all the 
Vertues that become a great 
Monarch 3 having fome DifE^rences of no 
fmall Conftquence with Charles ih^ mod 
ferene Prince of Cajiile, fcnt me iiito 
Flanders as his Ambaffador, for treating 
^nd comppfing Matters between them. I 



Sir Thomas More'j 

was CoUegue and Companion to that in- 
comparable Man Cuthbert Tonfial^ whom 
the King made lately Matter of the Rolls^ 
with fuch an llniverfal Applaufe, of 
whom I will fay nothing, not becaufe I 
fear that the Teftimony of a Friend will 
be fufpeded, but rather becaufe his 
Learning and Vermes are greater than 
that they can be fet forth with advantage 
by me, and they are fo well known, that 
they need not my Commendations, unlefi 
I would, according to the Proverb, Shew 
the Sun mth a Lafjthorn. Thofe that were 
appointed by the Prince to treat with us, 
met us at jBr^ge/^according to Agreement : 
they were all worthy Men. The Marl^ 
grave of Bruges was their Head, and the 
chief Man among them , but he that was 
efteemed the wifeft, and that (poke for 
the reft, was George Temfe the Provoftof 
Cajfeljie 3 both Art and Nature had con- 
curred to make him eloquent : He was 
very learned in the Law 5 and as he had 
a great Capacity, fo by a long practice in 
Affairs, he was very dextrous at them. 
After we had met once and again, and 
could not come to an Agreement, they 
went to Brf/JJeh for fome days to receive 
the Prince's Pkafure. And fince our Bu- 



finefs did admit of it, I went to Aniwerp : 
While I was there, among many that vifi- 
ted me, there was one that was more ac- 
ceptable to me than any other 5 Teeter 
Giles born at Antwerp^ who is a Man of 
great Honour, and of a good Rank in 
his Town 5 yet it is not fuch as he de- 
ftrves : for I do not know if there be 
any where to be found a learneder and 
a better bred young Man : for as he is 
both a very worthy Perfon, and a very 
knowing Man 5 fo he is (b civil to all 
Men, and yet fo particularly kind to his 
Friends, and is fo full of Candor and At 
feftion, that there is not perhaps above 
one or two to be found any where, that 
is in all refpeds fo perfeft a Friend as he 
is : He is extraordinarily modeft, there is 
no artifice in him 5 and yet no Man has 
more of a prudent fimplicity than he has : 
His Converfation was fo pleafant and fo 
innocently chearful, that his Company 
did in a great meafure leffen any longings 
to go back to my Country, and to my 
Wife and Children, which an abfence of 
four months had quickned very much. 
One day as I was returning home from 
Mafs at St. Maries^ which is the chief 
Churcbj and the mod frequented of any in 


Sir Thomas More'i 

Antvperp^ ! faw him by accident talking 
with 3 Scranger, that feemed pad the 
flower of his Age , his Face was tanned, 
he had a long Beard, and his Goak was 
hanging car^lefly about him, fo that by his 
Looks and Habit, I concluded he was a 
Seaman, As foon as Peter faw me, he came 
and faluted me , and as I was returning 
his Civility, he took me afide, and point- 
ing to him with whom he had been diP- 
courfing, hefaid, Do you feeth^tMan? 
I was juft thinking to bring him to you. I 
^nfwercd. He (hould have been very wel- 
come on your account : And on hfe own 
too, repFied he, if you knew the Man 5 
for there is none alive that can give you 
fo copious an account' of unknown Na- 
tions and Countries as he can do 5 whicti 
I know you very much defire. Theq 
faid I, I did not guefe amif&, fpr at firft 
fight I took him for a Seaman : But you 
are much miftaken, faid he, for he has 
not failed as a Seaman, but as a TravelJerj 
or rather as a Philofopher ^ for this J?^- 
fhad^ who from his Family carries the 
Name of Hjtblodaj^ as he is not igno- 
rant of the Latine Tongue, fo be is emi- 
nently learned in the Greek, having ap- 
plied himfelf niore parucularly to tha$ 



than to the former, becaufe he had given 
himfelf much to Philofophy, in which he 
knew that the Tomans have left us no- 
thing that is valuable, except what is to 
be found in Semta and Cketo. He is a 
FortHguefe by birth, and was fo defirous 
of feeing the World, that he divided his 
Eftate among his Brothers, and run For- 
tunes with ^kmericHsVefpHiiuf^ and bore a 
fliare in thrqf of his four Voyages, that 
are now publiftied : only he did not re- 
turn with him in his laft, but obtained 
leave of him almoft by force, that he 
might be one of thofe four and twenty 
who were left at the fartheft place at 
which they touched, in their laft Voyage 
toNerv Cafiile. The leaving him thus, 
did not a little gratify one that was more 
fond of travelling than of returning home, 
to be buried in his ownCountry jfor he 

Wasjheiame fro m alTpIaces 5 and hethat 
figJnoGrave, Eadlhe Heav ens ITiU over 
him.' iret This dirpoGtibn ot Mind had" 
coIThim dear, if God had not been very 
gracious to him 5 for after he, with five 
Capliani, had travelled over many Coun- 
tries, at laft, by a ftrange wod fortune, 
he got to Cejlor;^ and from thence to Ca- 

Sir Thomas More'j 

licut^ and there he very happily found 
fome PortHgueJe Ships 5 and fo, beyond 
all Mens expeftations, he came back to 
his own Country. When Peter had C^id 
this to me, I thanked him for his kind- 
nefi, in intending to give me the acquain- 
tance of a Man, whofe Conver(ation he 
knew would be fo acceptable to me , and 
upon that Raphael and I embraced one 
another : And after thofe Civilities were 
paft, which are ordinary for Strangers 
upon their firft meeting. We went all to 
my Hou(e, and entring into the Garden, 
(at down on a green Bank, and entertain- 
ed one another in Difcourfe. He told us, 
that whfn l^ejputw had failed away, he 
and his Companions that ftaid behind in 
V^W'Cafiile^ did by degrees infinuat^ 
themfelves into the People of the Coun-^ 
try, meeting often with tliem, and treat- 
ing them gently : and at laft they grew 
not only to live among them without darjr 
ger,but to converfe familiarly with them 5 
and got fo far into the Heart of a Prince, 
whofe Name and Country I have forgot, 
that he both furni(hed them plentifully 
with all things neceffary, and ajfo with 
the conveniences of travellings both 
Boats when they went by Water, and 



Wagons when they travelled over Land 5 
and he (ent with them a very faithful 
Guide, who was to introduce and re- 
commend them to fuch other Princes as 
they had a mind to fee ; and after m;my 
days Journey, they came to Towns, and 
Cities, and to Common- Wealths, that 
were both happily governed,and well peo- 
pled. Under, the /Equator^ and as far on 
both fide: oi it as the Sun moves, tlitre 
lay vaft Deftrts that were parched with 
the perpetual heat of the Sun 5 the Soil 
Was withered, all Things looked difmally, 
and all Places were either quite uninhabi- 
ted, or abounded with Wild Beads and 
Serpents, and (bme few Men, that were 
neither lefi wild, nor le(s cruel than the 
Beafts themfelves. But as they went far- 
ther, a new Scene opened, all things grew 
milder, the Air lets burning, the Soil more 
verdant, and even the Beafts were lefi 
wild; And at laft there are Nations, 
Towns, and Cities, that have not only 
mutual commerce among themfelves, and 
with their Neighbours, but trade both by 
Sea and Land, to very remote Countries. 
There they found the Conveniencies of 
feeing many Countries on all Hands, for 
no Ship went any Voyage into which Jbe 


8t Sir Thomas Morc'j 

and his Companions were not very wel- 
cotftc. The firft Veffels that they fiW 
were Flat-bottomed, their Sails were 
made of Reeds and Wicker woven clofe 
together^ only fome were made of Lea- 
ther 5 but afterwards they found Ships 
made with round Keels, and Canva(s Sails, 
and in all things hke our Ships: and the 
Seamen underftood both Aftrbnomy and 
Navigation. He got wonderfully into 
their favour, by (hewing them the ufe of 
the Needle, of which till then they were 
utterly ignorant 5 and wheteas they (ailed 
before with great caution, and only iri 
Summer-time, now they count all Siea(bn^ 
alike, trufting wholly to the Load(tone, 
in which they are perhaps more (ecure 
thanfafe, (b that there is rea(bn to fear, 
that this Difcovery which wis thought 
would prove (b much to their Advan- 
tage, may by their imprudence become 
an occafion of much Mi(chief to thertl 
But it were too long to dwell on all that 
he told us he had ob(erved in every place; 
it would be too great a digreflion from 
our prefent purpo(e : and what-ever is ne- 
cefl&ry to be told, chiefly concerning the 
wi(e and prudent Inttitutions that he 
oljdferved among civilized Natiorts, may 



perhaps be related by us on a more pro- 
per occafion. We ask'd him many que- 
ftions concerning all thefe thingS5to which 
he anfwered very willingly s only we 
itiade no enquiries after Monfters, than 
which nothing is more common , for 
every where one may hear of ravenous 
Dogs and Wolves, and cruel Men-eaters 5 
but it is not fb ea(y to find States that are 
well and wifely governed. ^— 

But as he told us of many things that 
were amils id thofe New-found Nations, 
fo he reckoned up not a few things, from 
which Patterns might be taken for cor- 
reding the Errors of thefe Nations a- 
mong whom we live 3 of Which an ac- 
count may be given, as I have already 
promifed, at fome other time 5 for at pre- 
fent I intend only to relate thefe Particu- 
lars that he told us of the Manners and 
Laws of the Utofians : but I will begin 
with the Occafion that led us to fpeak of 
that Common-Wealth. After Raphael 
had difcourfed with great judgment of the 
Errors that were both among us and thefe 
Nationsj of which there was no fmall 
number, and had treated of the wife In- 
ftitutions both here and there, and had 
Ipoken as diftinftly of the Cuftoms and 

C Govern* 

I o Sir Thomas Mote'j 

Government of every Nation through 
which he had paft, as if he had fpent his 
vs?hole Life in it 5 Peter being ftruck M^ith 
admiration, faid, I wonder, l^afhael^ how 
it comes that you enter into no King's 
Service, for I am fure there are none to 
whom you would not be very acceptable : 
for your Learning and Knowledg, both 
of Men and Things, is fuch, that you 
would not cfnly entertain them very plea- 
fantly, but be of good ufe to them, by 
the Examples that you CQuld fet before' 
them, and the Advices that you oould 
give them ^ and by this means you would 
both ferve your own Intereft^ and be of 
great u(e to all your Friends. As for my 
Friends, anfwered he, I need not be much 
concerned, having already done all that 
was incumbent on me toward them 5 foT; 
when I was not only in good Health, but 
freftj rnd yoling, 1 diftributed that among 
itiy Kindred and Friends, which other 
People do not part with till they are old 
and fick 5 and th^n they unwillingly give 
among them,that which they can enjoy nc 
longer therofelves. I think my Friends 
ought to reft contented with this, and not 
to expeft th^t for their iafces I (hould en- 
Save my itXf to any King wbatfoever. 
-:.:r:.^ Soft 



$oft and fair, faid Peter, I do not mean 
that you (hould be a Slave to any Ring,^ 
but only that you fliould aflift them, and- 
be ufeful to thefn. The change of ih^ 
Word, (aid. he, does not alter the Matter. 
But term it as you will, replied Peter^ i 
do not fee any other way in which you 
can be Co ufeful, both in private to your 
Friends, and to the Publick, and by which' 
you can make your own Condition hap- 
pier. Happier ! anfwered Raphael, ^ isf 
that to be compafled in a way fo abhor- 
rent to my Genius ? Now I live as I wilj; p' 
to which I believe fSw. Courtiers can pre- ^ 
tend; and there are fo very many that If 
court the Favour of great Men, that there 
will be no great lofi, if they are not 
troubled either with me, or with others 
of my temper. Upon this, I faid, I per- 
ceive Raphael that you neither defire 
Wealth nor Gceatnefi .3 and indeed I va- 
fue and admire fuch a Man much more 
than I do any of the great Men in the 
World. Yet I think you would do a 
thing well-becoming fo generous and Co 
philofophic^l a Soul as yours is, if you 
would apply your Time and Thoughts to 
Publick Affairs, even though you may 
happen to find that a little uncaly to your 

e ^ me 

II Sir Thomas More'x 

felf 5 and this you can never do with fo 
much advantage, as by being taken into 
the Council of fomc great Prince, and by 
(etting him on to noble and wori-hy 
Things, which I know you would do^u 
you were in fuch a Poft 5 for the Springs, 
bmlTor GoodT and_ Ev il, flo w over a 
whole Natron^~ Fom the Prin ce, as from 
alalting^FountairiL So muclTLearning as 
you have,~even without praftice in Af- 
fairs 3 or fo great a pradice as you have 
had, without any other Learning, would 
render you a very fit Counfellor to any 
King whatfoever, You are doubly mi- 
ftaken, (aid he, Mr. i^lore^ both in } our 
Opinion of me, and in the Judgment 
that you make of things : for as I have 
not that Capacity that you fancy to be in 
me 5 fo if I had it, the Publick would 
not be one jot the better, when I had fa- 
crificed my quiet to it. For moft Prin- 
ces apply themfelves more to warlike Mat- 
ters, than to the ufeful Arts of Peace 5 
and in thefe I neither have any knowledg, 
nor do I much defire it : They are ge- 
nerally more fet on acquiring new King- 
doms, right or wrong, than on govern- 
ing thofe well that they have : and among 
the Minifters of Princes, there are none 



that either are not fo wife as not to need 
any affiftance^or at lead that do not think 
themfelves fo wife, that they imagine 
they need none 5 and if they do court 
any, it is only thofe for whom the Prince 
has much perfonal Favour, whom by their 
Faunings and Flatteries they endeavour 
to fix to their own Interefts : and indeed 
Nature lias loTmade us, tEatwc all love to 
be fla tter ed, and to pl eafe ou r felves wltS 
our own Notions. The^ld^Crow loves 
his Young, and the Ape his Cubs. Now 
if in fuch a Court, made up of Perfons 
th^t envy all other|^nd do only admire 
themfelves, oneft^Hd but propofe any 
thing that he had either read in Hiftory, 
or obferved in his Travels, the reft would 
think that the Reputation of their Wit 
dom would fink, and that their Interefts 
would be much depreffed, if they could 
not run it down ; And if all other things 
failed, then they would fly to this. That 
fuch or fuch things pleafed our Anceftors, 
and it were well for us if we could but 
match them. They would fet up their 
Reft on fuch an Anfwer, as a fufBcient 
confutation of all that could be (aid 5 a§ 
if this were a great Mifehief, that any 
1|iould be found wifer than his Anceftors: 

C 3 §tt| 

Sir Thomas More'i^ 

hut tho they willingly let go all the good 
Things that were among thofe of former 
Ages 5 yet if better things are propofed, 
they cover themfelvcs obftinately with 
this excufe, of reverence to part Times. 
I -have met with thefe proud, morofe, and 
abfurd Judgments of Things in many pla- 
tes, particularly once in Et7gland. Was 
you ever there, faid I ? Yes, I w^as, an- 
•Twered he, and ftaid fome months there, 
not long after the Rebellion in the VVeft 
\vas fuppreffed, with a great (laughter of 
the poor People that were engaged in 

I was then muchi|Wiged to that reve- 
rend Prelate Ji>hn ^mrton Archbifhop of 
Cat7terhurj^' Cardim)^ and Chancellor of 
Ef7g!ar7d ^ a Man, ftid he, Peter ( for 
Mr. «i^<?re knows well what he was) that 
was not left venerable for his Wi(Hom and 
Vertuc?, than for the high Charafter he 
bpre : He was of a middle ftature, not 
broken with Age ; his looks begot Reve- 
rence rather than Fear 3 his Converfttion 
was eafv% but ferious and grave $ he took 
pleafure fometimes to try the force of 
thofe that came as Suiters to him upon 
Bufinels, by (peaking (harply, tho de- 
cendy to them, and by that he difcovered 


U T O P lh7~~ , 1 5 

their Spirit and prefence of Mind 5 with 
which he was much delighted, when it 
did not grow up to an impudence, as 
bearing a great refemblance to his own 
temper , and he look'd on fuch Perfons as 
the fitteft Men for Affairs. He fpoke 
both gracefully and weightily 5 he was 
eminently skilled in the Law, and had a 
vaft llnderftanding, and a prodigious 
Memory : and thofe excellent Talents 
with which Nature had furniOied him, 
were improved by Study and Experience. 
When I was in Englaffd^ the King de- 
pended much on his Councils, and the 
Government feem^^ to be chiefly fup- 
ported by him , for from his Youth up, 
he had been all along pradifed in Affairs 5 
and having paffed through many Traver- 
fes of Fortune, he had acquired to his 
great coft, a vaft ftock of Wifdom : 
which is not foon loft, when it is purcha- 
fed fo dear. One (Jay when I was dining 
with him, there hapned to be at Table 
one of the Englifh Lawyers, who took 
occafion to run out in a high commenda- 
tion of the fevere execution of Juftice 
tipon Thieves, who, as he faid, were then 
hanged fo faft, that there were fometimes 
20 on one Gibbet 3 and upon that he faid,he 


1 6 Sir Thomas More'^ 

could not wonder enough how it came 
to pafi, that fiqce fo few efcaped, there 
were yet (b many Thieves left who were* 
ftill robbing in all places. Upon this, I 
who took the boldnefi to fpeak freely be- 
fore the Cardinal, (aid. There was no 
reafbn to wonder at the Matter, fince 
this way of puniftiing Thieves, was nei- 
ther juft in it Self, nor good for the Pub- 
lick 5 for as the Severity was too great, 
fo the Remedy was not efFeftual 5 fimple 
Theft not being fo great a Crime, that it 
ought to coft a Man his Life 5 and no Pu- 
niffiment how fevere foever, being able 
fo reftrain thofe from robbing, who can 
find out no other way of livelihood 5 and 
in this, faid I, not only you in Efjgland^ 
but a great part of the World, imitate 
fome ill Mafters, that are readier to cha- 
{life their Scholars, than to teach them. 
There are dreadful Punifliments enaded 
againft Thieves, but it were much better 
to make fuch good Provifions, by which 
every Man might be put in a Method how 
to live, and fo be pireferved from the fatal 
neccffity of dealing, and of dying for it. 
There has been care enough taken for 
that, faid he, there are many Handy crafts, 
and there is Hufbandry, by which they 



may make a (hift to live,unle(s:they have a 
greater mind to follow ill Courfes. That 
will not ferve your turn, faid I, for many 
lofe their Limbs in Civil or Forreign 
Wars, as lately in the Cormfl) Rebellion, 
and fome time ago in your Wars with 
Brance^ who being thus mutilated in the 
Service of their King and Country, can 
no more follow their old Trades, and arc 
too old to learn new Ones : But fince 
Wars are only accidental Things, and 
have Intervals5let us confider thofe Things 
that fall out every day. There is a great 
number of Noble Men among you, that 
live not only idle themfelves as Drones, 
fubfifting by other Mens Labours, who 
are their Tenants, and whom they pare to 
the quick, and thereby raife their Reve- 
nues 5 this being the only inftance of their 
Frugality, for in all other things they are 
Prodigal, even to the beggering of them- 
(elves : But befides this, they carry about 
with them a huge number of idle Fellows, 
who never learn d any Art by which they 
niay gain their Living 5 and thefe, as 
foon as either their Lord dies, or they 
themfelves fa ll fick, are t urned out of 
JQorsp for your Lords are re adieFtb 
teed idle People, than to take^^ jTthe 

iick 3 

f ^ Sir Thomas More'^ 

fick 5 and often the Heir is not able to 
kie^p together fo great a Family as hi3 
Predeceffor did : Now when the Sto- 
fnachs of tbofe that are thus turned out 
of Doors, grow keen, they rob no lefi 
Iceienly ^ and what elfecan they do? for 
s^frprfh^t, by wandring about, they have 
WPfn QUt both their Health and their 
CIpaths, and are tattered, and look ghaft- 
ly. Men of Quality will not entertain 
ih^m, ^nd poor Men dare not do it 3 
knowing th^t one who has been bred up 
in Idleqefi and Pleafure,and who was ufed 
to walk ^bout with his Sword and Buckler, 
cjefpifing all the Neighbourhood with an 
iafolent Scorn, as far below him, is not 
fit for the Spade and Mattock : Nor will 
he (erve a poor Man for fo fmall a Hire, 
^nd in (b low a Diet as he can afford. To 
this he ^nfwered. This fort of Men ought 
to be particularly cherifhed among us, for 
in then) confifts the Force of the Armies 
for whiph we may have occafion 5 fince 
their j^irth infpires them with a nobler 
ftpce of Honour, than is to be found a- 
mong Tradefmen or Ploughmen. You 
may as well fay, replied I, that you muft 
cherifli Thieves on the account of Wars, 
for you will never want the one, as long 


as you have |:Ji|e other 5 and gs Robbers 
prove fometirnes gallai^t Souldjers, fo, Sou)- 
di,ers prov:^ oft^n or^ve fVobbers, fonear 
an Alliance ther^ is between thofe tvyp 
fcrts pf Life. But this bad cuftom of 
keeping many Servants, that is fa common 
among you, is not peculiar to thjs Nation, 
In Fraf^ce there is yet a more peftiferpqs 
fort of People, for the whole Country \s 
full pf Souldiers, that are ftill kept up ip 
time of Peace 5 if fuch a ftate of a Nati- 
on can be calkd a Peace : and thefe pre 
kept in Pay upon the (ame account that 
you plead for thofe Idle Retainers abput 
^pble Men : ^his being a Maxim of thqfe 
pretended Statefmen, That it is neceflary 
for the Publick Safety, to have a good 
Body of Veteran Souldiers evef in reacli- 
nefs. Thpy think raw Men are not to be 
depended on, and they fometimes ftek 
Occafions for making War, that they may 
train up their Souldiers in the Art of cut- 
ting Throats, or as Sahfi ohferyed, for 
keeping their Hands in ufe, that they n^ay 
not grow dull by too long an interraiffion. 
Biat France has learn'd, to its coft, how 
dangerous it is to feed fuch Eeafts. The 
fate of the Romatis ^ Cartbagifjiafts^ 
and Sjriarjs^ and roany ptjief NatipnSj 


lo S/> Thomas Moife'j 


and Cities, which were both overturned, 
and quite ruined by thofe (landing Ar- 
mies, fhould make others wifer : and the 
folly of this Maxim of the Fre//rA, appears 
plainly even from this, that their trained 
Souldiers find your raw Men prove often 
too hard for them 3 of which I will not 
fty much, left you may think I flatter the 
Englifh Nation. Every day's Experience 
(hews, that the Mechanicks in the Towns, 
or the Clowns in the Country, are not 
afraid of fighting with tho(e idle Gentle- 
men, if they are not difabled by (bme 
Misfortune in their Body, or difpirited by 
cxtream Want. ^ So that you need not 
fear, that thofe well-(hapcd and ftrong 
Men, (for it is only fuch that Noblemen 
love to keep about them, till they (poil 
them ) who now grow feeble with eafe, 
and are (bftned with their effeminate man- 
ner of Life, would be lefi fit for Aftion 
if they were, well bred and well employ- 
ed. And it (cems very unreafbnable, that 
for the profpeft of a War, which you 
need never have but when you pleafe, 
you (hould maintain fo many idle Men, ^s 
will always difturb you in time of Peace, 
which is ever to be more eonfiderecl thaa 
War. But I do not think that this nc- 


ccffity of Stealing, arifes only from hence, 
there is another Caufe of it that is more 
peculiar to Effgland, What is that f faid 
the Cardinal : The encrcafe of Pafture, 
faid I, by which your Sheep, that are 
naturally mild, and eafily kept in order, 
may be faid now to devour Men, and un- 
people, not only Villages, but Towns: 
For where-ever it is found, that the Sheep 
of any Soil yield a fofter and richer Wool 
than ordinary, there the Nobility and 
Gentry, and even thofe Holy Men the 
Abbots, not contented with the old 
Rents which their Farms yielded, nor 
thinking it enough thsft they living at 
their ea(e, do no good to the Publick, re- 
folve to do it Hurt inftead of Good. They 
ftop the courfe of Agriculture, inclofc 
Grounds, and deftroy Houfes and Towns^ 
referving only the Churches, that they 
may lodg their Sheep in them : And as if 
Forrefts and Parks had fwallowed up too 
little Soil, thofe worthy Country-Men 
turn the beft inhabited Places into Soli- 
tudes 5 for when any un&tiable Wretch, 
who is a Plague to his Country, refolves 
to inclofemany thouland Acresof Ground, 
the Owners, as well as Tenants, are turned 
out of their Poflisflions, by Tricks, or by 


tt Sir "f hoftks Mtyre V 

nffsirt f o¥ce, 6r betfig tvea'Fiecf out witH ill 
t>fag;e, tH^y a^e forced to Ml them. So 
iht)(e nf]fi(erci We People, bo(!h Men ana 
Woiiren, Married, Urirriarried, Old and 
Young, with their Pobi', but numerous 
Families, (firice CoVmtt^y-Btrflriefi requires 
n^jany HahtJs) are afll forced to change 
their Seats, not knowing wTiither to go 5 
S'nd they m^ift ftll for almbft nothing,their 
HoufnoW- fluff, which cotild not bring 
^hem tnucli Mofiy, even tho they might 
ftay for a Buydr : when tfrat little Mony 
?s at an end^, f6r ift Mil be (bon (pent 5 
Whnt is ltd for them' to do, but either to 
fteal, atM fo- to be hanged, (God knows 
ho^v juftly) 01^ to' go about and beg? 
And if tfhey do this, tk^^j^e putin Pri-* 
ioti as- idle ^agabondy^ wKereas they 
vc^6uld willingly work, but can' find none 
that will hire thiem 5 for there is no more 
6ccafion for' GbUriti'y L^bur, to which 
fhey have beeh bred, when ^ there is no 
Arable Gronhd feft. CXrtifc^ Shepherd can 
h!>i9fc after' aPlbck, v^hlbh will ftock an 
extent of <5r6and that \VbUld require ma- 
fty hands, if it! were" to be ploughed ana 
reaped. Thi^ likewife faifes tlie prke of 
Corn in m3:ny places, the price of W ooU 
iialfo fo riftri, that the p6or People who 


UTOPIA. ^ if 

were wont to make Cloth, drd fid tt6f€ 
able to buy it 5 and this likewife mak^* 
many of them idle : For fince the incre^fe 
of Pafture, God has puni(hed the Ava- 
rice of the Owners, by a Rot among the 
Sheep, which has deftroyed Vaft fiumbcrs 
of them, but had been more juftly faifd 
upon the Owners themfelves. But fup- 
pofe the Sheep (hould encreafe eter fo 
much, their Price is not like to fall 3 flnc^ 
tho they cannnt be called a t^oHopdy^ b#-' 
caufethey are not engroffed by ofie Per- 
fon, yet they are in (b jfew hand?, and 
thefe are fb rich, that as they ztt not 
preft to fell them (boner than they halre af 
mind to it, (b they never do if till they 
have railed the Price as high as is- p6ffii3^fe^/ 
And on the fame acGouut it i^, Ibat the' 
other kinds of Cattel ^re fo dea?^ arid fo 
much the more, becaule that many Vil* 
iages being pulled down, and all Coudlty-' 
Labour being much negledted, tl^re are 
none that look after the bi^eediug of thetni. 
TheRich do not breed Cattel as they dd 
Sheep, but buy them Lean, and at Idw 
Prices 5 and after they have fatned thefi* 
on their Grounds, they fell ihem again at 
high rates. And I do not think that all' 
the Inconveniences that this will produce,^ 


24 Sir Thomas Morc'j 

are yet obferved ^ for as they (ell the Cat- 
tle dear, Co if they are confiimed fafter 
then the breeding Countries from which 
they are brought, can afford them 5 then 
the ftock moft decrcafe, and this muft 
needs end in a great Scarcity 5 and by 
thefe means this your Ifland, that (eemed 
as to this particular, the happieft in the 
World, will fuffer much by the curfed 
Avarice of a few Perfons ^ befides that, 
the rifing of Corn makes b11 People leffen 
their Families as much as they can 5. and 
what can thofc who are difmiffed by them 
do, but either Beg or Rob ? And to this 
Iaft,a Man of a great Mind is much fooner 
drawn than to the former. Luxury like* 
wife breaks in apace upon you, to fet 
forward your Poverty and Mifery 3 there 
is an exceffive Vanity in Apparel, and 
great Coft in Diet , and that not only in 
Nobleraens Families, but even among 
Tradefmen^and among the Farmers them- 
(elves, and among all Ranks of Perfons. 
You have alfo many infamous Houfes, and 
befides thofe that are known, the Taverns 
and Alehoufcs are no better 3 add to thefe, 
Dice,Cardsy Tables, Football, Tennis, and 
Coits,in which Mony runs faftaway^ and 
thofe that are initiated into them, muft in 



coiiGlufion betake themfelves to robbing 
for a (upply. BaniOi thole Plagues,, and 
give order that thefe who have difpeopled 
fo much Soil, may either rebuild the Vil- 
lages that they have pulled down, or 
let out their Grounds to fuch as will do 
it : Reftrain thofe engroffings of the 
Richythat are as bad almofl: as Monopolies 5 
leave fewer Occaiions to Idlenels 5 let A- 
griculture be fet up again, and the Manu- 
fafture of the WooU be regulated, that 
fo there may be Work found for thefe 
Companies of Idle People, whom wane 
Forces to be Thieves, or who now being 
idle Vagabonds, or ufelefi Servants, will 
Ciertainly grow Thieves at laflr. If yoii 
do not find a Remedy to thefe Evils, it is 
^ vain thing to boaft of your Severity of 
puniftiing Theft ^ which tho it may have 
the appearance of Juftice, yet in it felf it 
is neither juft nor convenient : for if you 
iufFeryour People to be ill Educated, and 
their Manners to be corrupted from their 
infancy, and then punilh them for thofe 
Crimes to which their firft Education dif 
jTofed^them, what elfe is to be concluded 
from this, but that you firft make Thieves, 
and then punilb them ? 

D W^hile 

1 6 Sir Thomas Morc'j 

Wliik I was talking thus, the Counci- 
lor that was prefent had prepared an An- 
fwcr, and" tad refolved to refume all I 
had iaid, according to the Formality of a 
Debate^ in which things are generally re- 
peated more faithfully than they are an- 
fwercd ^ as if the chief trial that were to 
be made, were of Mens Memories. So 
he faid to me, you have talked prettily 
for a Stranger, having heard of many 
things among U3, which you have not 
been abk to confider well 5 but I will 
make the whole Matter plain to you, and 
, will firfl: repeat in order all that you have 
faid, then I will (hew how much the ig- 
norance of our Affairs has mifled you, and 
will in the laft place anfwer all your Ar- 
guments. And that I may begin where I 

promifed, there were four things • 

Hold your Peace, faid the Cardinal, for 
you will not have done foon that begin 
thus 5 therefore we will at prefenteafe 
you of the trouble of anfwering, and re- 
ferve it to our next meeting, which (hall 
be to morrow, if Raphael's Affairs and 
yours can admit of it : But T^aphael^ (aid 
be to me, I would gladly know of you 
upon what Reafon it is that you think 
Theft ought not to be puni(hed by Death ? 


UTOPIA. 1-; 

Would you give way to it ? or do you 
propole any other PuniQiment that will 
be more ufeful to the Publick ? For (ince 
Death does not reftraia Theft, if Men 
thought their Lives would be fife, what 
Fear or Force could reftrain ill Men ? On 
the contrary, they would look on the mi- 
tigation of the Punifliment, as an invita- 
tion to commit more Crimes. I anfwered. 
It (eems to me a very unjuft thing to take 
away a Man s Life for a little Mony 5 for 
nothing in the World can be of equal 
value with a Man's Life : And if it is (aid, 
that it is not for the Mony that one fufter5', 
but for his breaking the Law 5 I mu(i fay, 
cxtream Juftice is an extream Injury .* for 
we ought not to approve of thefe terrible 
Laws that make the fmalleit Offences ca- 
pital 5 nor of that Opinion of the Stoick^ 
that makes all Crimes equal, as if there 
were no difference to be made between 
the killing a Man, and the taking his 
Purfe^ between which if we examine 
things impartially, there is no likenefi 
nor proportion. God has commanded us^ 
not to kill, and (hall we kill fo eafily for 
a little Mony ? But if one (hall fay. That 
by that Law we are only forbid to kill 
any, except U'hen the Laws of the Lard 

D 2 allow 

a 8 Sir Thomas MoreV 

allow of it 5 upon the fame Grounds, 
Laws may be made to allow of Adultery 
and Perjury in (bme Cafes : for God 
having taken from us the Right of difpo- 
fing, either of our own, or of other Peo- 
ples Lives, if it is pretended that the mu- 
tual Confent of Men in making Laws, al- 
lowing of Manflaughter in Cafes in which 
God has given us no Example, frees Peo- 
ple from the Obligation of the Divine 
Law, and fo makes Murder a lawful A3i- 
on 5 What is this, but to give a prefe- 
rence to Humane Laws before the Divine? 
And if this is once admitted, by the fame 
Rule Men may in all other things put what 
Reftriftions they plcaie upon the Laws 
of God. If by the ^ofakal Law, tho it 
was rough and fevere, as being a Yoke 
laid on an obftinate and fervile Nation, 
Men were only fined, and not put to 
death for Theft 5 we cannot imagine that 
in this new Law of Mercy, in which God 
treats us with the tendernefs of a Father, 
he has given us a greater Licenfe to Cruel- 
ty, than he did to the Jevps. Upon thefe 
Reafons it is, that I think the putting 
Thieves to death is not lawful 5 and it is. 
plain and obvious that it is abfurd, and of 
ill Confequence to the Common- Wealth, 



that a Thief and a Murderer (hould be 
equally puniftied : for if a Robber fees 
that his Danger is the (ame, if he is con- 
vifted of Theft, as if he were guilty of 
Murder, this will naturally (et him on to 
kill the Perfon whom otherwife he would 
only have robbed, fince if the Punifliment 
is the fame, there is more fecurity, and lefi 
danger of difcovery, when he that can 
beft make it is put out of the way 5 fo that 
the terrifying Thieves too much, provokes 
them to cruelty. 

But as to the Queftion, What more 
convenient way of Punifliment can be 
found ? I think it is much eafier to find out 
that, than to invent any thing that is 
worfe 5 Why fliould we doubt but the 
way that was fo long in ufe among the 
old Romai7s^ who underftood fo well the 
Arts of Government, was very proper 
for their Punifliment ? they condemned 
fuch a^ they found guilty of great Crimes, 
^o work their Vi^hole Lives in Quarries, 
or tp dig in Mines with Chains about 
them. But the Method that I liked befl", 
was that which I oblerved in my Travels 
in Perjia^ among the Folykrits^ who are a 
confiderable and well-governed People. 
They pay a yearly Tribute to the King 

* C) 3 of 


Sir Thomas More'5 

of Ferja 5 but in all other refpefts they 
are a free Mation, and governed by their 
own Laws. They He far from the Sea, 
jind ^re environed with Hills 5 and being 
contented with th^ Produftions of their 
own Country, which is very fruitful, 
tht7 have little commerce with any other 
Nation , and as they, according to the 
Genius of their Country, have no ap- 
petite of inlarging their Borders 5 (b their 
Mountains, and the Penfion that they pay 
to the Perjia^^ (ccure them from all Inva- 
fions. Thus they have no Wars among 
them ^ they live rather conveniently than 
fplendidly, and may be rather called a 
Hnppy Nation, than either Eminent or 
Famous ^ for I do not think that they are 
known fo much as by Name to any but 
their next Neighbours. Thofc that are 
found guilty of Theft among them, are 
bound to make reftitution to the Owner, 
and not as it is in other places, to the 
Prince, for they reckon that the Prince 
has no mpre right to the Oollen Goods 
than the Thief ^ but if that which was 
ftollen is no more in being, then the 
Goods of the Thieves are eftimated, and 
Reftitution being made out of them, the 
Remainder is given to ^h^ir Wivcb and 

Children : 


Children : And they themfelves are con- 
demned to ferve in the Publick Works,but 
are neither imprifoned, nor chained, vinlels 
there hapned to be fotne extraordinary 
Circumftances in their Crimes. They go 
about loofe and free, working for the 
Publick; If they are Idle or backward to 
work, they are whipp'd 3 but if they 
work hard, they are well ufed and treated 
without any mark of Reproach, only 
the Lifts of them are called always at 
Night, and then they are (hut up, and 
they fuffer no other uneafineli, but this of 
conftant Labour 5 for as they work for 
the Publick, fo they are well entertained 
out of the Publick Stock, which is done 
differently in different places : In fome 
places, that which is beftowed on them, 
is raifed by a charitable Contribution 5 and 
tho this way may feem uncertain, yet fo 
merciful are the Inclinations of that Peo- 
ple, that they are plentifully fupplied by 
it 5 but in other places Publick Revenues 
are fet afide for them 5 or there is a con- 
ftant Tax of a Poll-mony raifed for their 
Maintenance. In fome places they are (et 
to no Publick Work, but every privat 
Man that has occafion to hire Workmen, 
goes to the Market-places and hires them 

P 4 of 

3 i Sir Thomas >4ore'5 

of the Publick^a lutk lower than he would 
do a Free-man : If they go lazily about 
their Task, he may quicken them with 
the Whip. By this means there is always 
(bme piece of Work or other to be done 
by them 5 and befide their Lively hood, 
they earn fomewhat (till to the Publick. 
They wear all a peculiar Habi , of one 
certain colour, and their Hair is cropt a 
little above their Ears, and a lit tie of one 
of their Ears is cut off. Their Friends 
are allowed to give tht m either Meat, 
Drink, or Clothes, fo ihc> are of their 
proper Colour 5 bur ir in Death, both to 
the Giver and Taker, if they give them 
Mony 5 nor is it left penal for any Free- 
man to take Mony from them, upon any 
account whatfoever : And it is alfo Death 
for any of thefe Slaves ( fo they are cal- 
led) to handll Arms. Thofe of every 
Divifion of the Country, are diftinguifti- 
cd by a peculiar Mark : And it is capital 
to lay that afide, and fo it is alfo to go 
out of their Bounds, or to talk with a 
Slave of another Jurifdiftion 3 and the 
very attempt of an efcape, is nolefi penal 
than an elcape it (elf 5 it is Death for any 
other Slave to be acceffary to itrlf a Free- 
man engages in it, he is condemned to 



flavery : Thofe that diicover it are re- 
warded 5 if Free-men, in Mony 5 and if 
Slaves, with Liberty, together with a Par- 
idon for being acceffary to it 5 that fo they 
may find their Account, rather in repent- 
ing of their acceffion to fuch a defign,than 
in perfifting in it. 

Tbefe are their Laws and Rules in this 
Mattery in which both the Gentlene^ 
and the Advantages of them are very ob- 
vious 5 finee by thefe Means, as Vices are 
deftroyed, fo Men are preferved 5 but are 
fo treated, that they fee the neceffity of 
being good : and by the reft of their Life 
they make reparation for the Mifchief they 
had formerly done. Nor is there any 
hazard of their falling back to their old 
Cuftoms : And fo little do Travellers ap- 
prehend Mifchief from them, that they 
generally make ufe of them for Guides, 
from one Jurifdidion to another 5 for 
there i^ nothing left them by which they 
can rob, or be the better for it, fince as 
they are dilarmed, fo the very having of 
Mony ia a ifufEcient Conviftion : and as 
^hey are certainly punifhed if difcovered, 
fo they cannot hope to elcape ; for their 
Habit being in all the parts of it dif- 

^ 4 Sir Thomas M orts 

ferent from what is commonly worn, 
they cannot fly away, unlefi they (hould 
go naked, and even then their erop'd 
Ear would betray them. The on- 
ly danger to be feared from them, is their 
confpiring againft the Government : but 
thofe of one Divifion and Neighbour- 
hood can do nothing to any purpole, un- 
kis a general Confpiracy were laid amongft 
all the Slaves of the feveral Juri(di(ftions, 
which cannot be done, fince they cannot 
meet or talk together 5 nor will any ven- 
ture on a Defign where the Concealment 
would be fo dangerous, and the Difcove- 
ry Co profitable: and none of them is 
quite hopelefs of recovering his Free- 
dom, fince by their Obedience and Pa- 
tience, and by giving grounds to believe 
that they will change their manner of Life 
for the future, they may expeft at laft to 
obtain their Liberty : and fome are every 
Year reftored to it, upon the good Cha- 
racter that is given of them. When I 
had related all this, I added. That I did 
not fte why fach a Method might not be 
followed with more advantage, than could 
ever be expected from that fevere Juftice 
which the Counfcllor magnified fo much. 



To all this he anfvvered. That it could ne- 
ver be fo (etled in Englarjd^ without en- 
dangering the whole Nation by it 5 and 
as he faid that, he (hook his Head, and 
made forne grimaceSjaod foheld his peaces 
and all the Company (eemed to be of his 
mind : only the Cardinal (aid. It is not 
ea(y togue(s whether it would fucceed 
well or ill, fince no trial has been made 
of it : But if when the Sentence of Death 
were pa(t upon a Thief, the Prince would 
reprieve him for a while, and make the 
Experiment upon him, denying him the 
privilege of a Sanftuary 5 then if it had 
XI good efied upon him, it might take 
place 5 and if it fucceeded not, the worfl: 
v^ould be, to execute the Sentence on 
the condemned Perfons at Ia(t. And I do not 
(ee, (aid he, why it would be either injuft 
or inconvenient, or at all dangerous, to 
admit of fuch a delay : And 1 think the 
Vagabonds ought to be treated in the 
fame manner, againft whom tho we have 
made many Laws, yet we have not been 
able to gain our end by them all. When 
the Cardinal had faid this, then they all 
fell to commend the Motion, tho they 
had dc(pi(ed it when it came from me :, 
but they did more particularly commend 


3 6 Sir Thomas More'^ 

that concerning the Vagabonds, becaufe 
it had been added by him. 

I do not ktiow whether it be worth the 
while to tell what followed, for it was 
very ridiculous ^ but I Qiall venture at it, 
for as it is not forreign to this Matter, fo 
(bme good ufe may be made of it. There 
was a Jefter ftanding by, that counterfei- 
ted the Fool fo naturally, that he (eemed 
to be really one. The Jefts at which he 
oficred were fo cold and dull, that we 
laughed more at him than at them 3 yet 
fometimes he faid, as it were by chance, 
things that were not unpleafant , fo as to 
)uftify the old Proverb, That he who throws 
the Dice often^ wU fometimes have a lucky 
Hit. When one of the Company had 
faid, that I had taken care of the Thieves, 
and the Cardinal had taken care of the 
Vagabonds,fo that there remained nothing 
but that fome publick Provifion might be 
made/ for [the Poor»> whom Sicknefi or 
Old Age had difabled from Labour: Leave 
that to me, faid the Fool, and I (hall take 
care of them ^ for there is no fort of Peo- 
ple whole fight I abhor more, having been 
fo often vexed with them, and with their 
fad Complaints 5 but as dolefully foeveras 
they haye told their Tale to me, they 



could never prevail fo far a€ to draw one 
Penny of Mony from me : for either I 
had no mind to give them any thing, or 
when I had a mind to it, I had nothing 
to give them : and they now know me fo 
well, that they will not lofe their labour 
on me, but let me pals without giving me 
any trouble, becaufe they hope for no- 
thing from me, no more in faith than if I 
were a Prieji : But I would have a Law 
made, for (ending all thefe Beggars to 
Monafteries, the Men to the BentdiQines 
to be Lay-Brothers, and the Women to be 
Nuns. The Cardinal fmiled, and ap- 
proved of it in jcft 5 but the reft liked it 
in earneft. There was a Divine prefent, 
who tho he was a grave morofe Man, yet 
he was fo pleafed with this Refleftion that 
was made on the Priefts and the Monks, 
that he began tc^play with the Fool, and 
faid to him, This will not deliver you 
from all Beggers, except you take care of 
us Friars, That is done already, an- 
fwered the Fool, for the Cardinal has pro- 
vided for you, by what he propofed for 
the reftraining Vagabonds, and fetting 
them to work, for I know no Vagabonds 
like you. This was well entertained by 
the whole Company^ who looking at 


5 8 Sir T homas More V 

the Cardinal, perceived that he was not 
ill pleafed at it 5 only the Friar himfelf 
was Co bit, as may be eafily imagined, and 
fell out into fuch a paffion^that he could not 
forbear railing at the Fool, and called him 
K?7ave.^SUfJclerer^ Back})7ter^2iX\di Son ofPerdi- 
twn^ and cited fome dreadful Threatnings 
out of the Scriptures againfl: him. Now 
the Jefter thought he was in his Element, 
and laid about him freely : he faid. Good 
Friar be not angry, for it is written. In 
fuikf7cc pojfefs your Scttl, The Friar an- 
fwcred, (for I (hall give you his own 
words ) I am not angry, you Hangman ^ 
at leaft I do not fin in it, for the Pfalmift 
fays, Be ye angry^ and Jin noK Upon 
this the Cardinal admoniftied him gently, 
and wilhed him to govern his Paffions. 
No, my Lord, faid he, I fpeak not but 
from a good Zeal,whichf ought to have, 
for Holy Men have had a good Zealjas it is 
faid, T/je Zeai of thy Honfi hath eaten me 
tif 5 and we fing in our Church, that thofe 
who mock'd Elijlu as he went up to the 
Houfe of God, felt the EfFefts of his 
Zeal 5 which that Mocker, that Rogue, 
that Scoundrel, will perhaps feel. You do 
this perhaps with a goodintentioUjfaid the 
Cardinal 5 but in my Opinion, it were 



wifer in you, not to fayTa terfoTyou, ™^ 
not to engage in Co ridiculous a Cooteft 
with a Fool. No, my Lord, anfvvered 
he, that were not wifely done 3 for Solo- 
tJiorj, the wifeft of Men, faid, Anfwer a 
Fool acccrdirig to his foUy 5 which I now 
do, and (hew him the Ditch into which 
he will fall, if he is not aware of it 5 for 
if the many Mockers of Elijha, who was 
but one bald Man, felt the EfFed of. his 
Zeal, What will become of one Mocker 
of fo many Friars, among whom there 
are fo many bald Men > We have hkewife 
a Bull, by which all that jeer us are ex- 
communicated. When the Cardinal faw 
'that there was no end of this Matter, he 
made a fign to the Fool to withdraw, 'and 
turned the Difcourfe another way 5 and 
foon after he rofe from the Table, and diG- 
miffing us, he went to hearCaufes. 

Thus, Mr. More^ I have run out into a 
tedious Story, of the length of which I 
had been afhamed, if, as. you earneftly 
begged it of me, I had not obferved yoii 
to hearken to it, as if you had no mind 
to lofe any part of it ; I might have 
contraftcd it, but I refoived to give 
it you at large, that you might obfcrve 
how thofe that had defpifcd what I had 


40 Sir Thomas Morc'j 

propofed, no fooner perceived that the 
Cardinal did not diflike it, but they pre- 
fently approved of it, and fawned (b on 
him, and flattered him to fuch a degree^ 
that they in good earneft applauded thofe 
things that he only liked in jeft. And 
from hence you may gather, how little 
Courtiers would value either me or my 

To this I anfwered. You have done m^ 
a great kindnefi in this Relation 5 Tor a5 
every thing has been related by you, both 
wifely and pleaj&ntly, fo you have made 
me imagine, that I was in my own Coun- 
try, and grown young again, by recalling 
that good Cardinal into my thoughts, in 
whofe Family I was bred from my Child- 
hood : And tho you are upon other ac- 
counts very dear to me, yet you are the 
dearer, becaufc you honour his Memory 
fo much : but after all this I cannot change 
my Opinion, for I ftill think that if you 
could overcome that averfion which you 
have to the Courts of Princes, you might 
do a great deal of good to Mankind, by 
the Advices that you would give 3 and 
this is the chief Defign that every good 
Man ought to propofe to himfelf in living: 
for whereas your Friend Plato thinks that 



then Nations will be happy, when either 
Pfailofophers become Kings, or Kings be- 
come Philofophers.No wonder if we are fo 
far from that Happinefs, if Philofbphers 
will not think it fit for them to adift 
Kings with their Councels. Ttey are not 
£0 £afe minded, (aid he, but that they 
would willingly do it : many of them 
iiave already done it by their Books, if 
thefe that are in Power would hearken to 
their good Advices. But PI^o judged 
right, that except Kings themfelves be- 
came Philofophers, it could never be 
iMTOUght about, that they who from their 
Childhood are corrupted with falfe No- 
tions, (hould lall in intirely with the 
Counfelsof Philofophers, which he him- 
ielf found to be true in the Perfon of 

Do not you think, that if I were about 
«ny King, and were propofing good Laws 
to him, and endeavouring to root out of 
him all the curfed Seeds of Evil that I 
Ibund in him, I (hould either be turned 
out of Ms Court, or at leaft be laughed at 
for my pains ? For Inftance, What could I 
fignify if I were about the King oiFrame^ 
and were called into his Cabinet-Council, 
where fcveral wife Men do in his hearing 

E propofe 

42 S/V Thomas Mcxe'y 

propoft many Expedients 5 as by what 
Arts and Pradices Milan may be kept 3 
and 'Naples^ that has fo oft flip'd out of 
their hands, recovered 5 and how the 
Venetians^ and after them the reft of Itafy 
may be fubdued , and then! how Flati' 
derfy Brabant^ and all Burgundy y and ibme 
other Kingdoms which he has fwallowed 
already in his Defigns, may be added to 
his Empire. One propofes a League with 
the Venetians^ to be kept as long as he 
finds his account in it, and that he ought 
to communicate Councils with them, and 
give them Ibme (hare of the Spoil, till his 
Succefi makes him need or fear them left, 
and then it will be eafily taken out of 
their Hands. Another propofes the hire- 
jng the Germans^ and the fecuring the 
Smtzers by Penfions. Another propofes 
the gaining the Emperor by Mony, which 
is Omnipotent with him. Another pro- 
pofes a Peace with the King of Arragon^ 
and in order to the cementing it, the 
yielding up the King of Navars Pretenfi- 
on?; Another thinks the Priilte of Ca- 
Jiile is to be wrought on, by the hope of 
an Alliance ^ and that fome of his Cour- 
tiers are to be gained to the French Fa^ 
£lion by Penfions. The hardeft Point 



of all is, what to do with Ef7glanci: a 
Treaty of Peace is to be iet on foot, and 
if their Alliance is not to be depended 
on, yet it is to be made as firm as can be 5 
and they are to be called FViends, but 
fufpefted as Enemies ; Therefore the Scots 
are to be kept in readiriefs, to be let looft 
upon Engla?7d on every occafion 5 and 
ftme banidied Nobleman is to be fuppor- 
ted underhand, ( for by the League it 
cannot be done avowedly) who has a 
pretenfion to the Crown, by which means 
that fufpefted Prince may be kept hi awe. 
Now when thin,2;s are in (b great a Fer- 
mentation, and fo many gallant Men are 
joining Councils, how to carry on the 
War, if fo mean; a Man as I am fhould 
ftand up, and wifti them to change all 
their Councils, to let //.//; alone, and (lay 
at home, fince the Kingdom of France 
was indeed greater than that it could be 
well governed by one Man ^ So that he 
ought not to think of adding others to 
it : And if after this, i (liould propofe to 
them the Htfblutions oi xht Achorians^ a 
People that lie over againft the Ifle of 
Utopia to the South-eaft, who having 
long ago engaged in a War, that they 
might gain another Kingdom to their 

E 2 "^^^^i 

44 Sir Thomas More'5 

King, who had a Pretenfion to it by an 
old Alliance, by which it had defended 
to him 5 and having conquered it, when 
they found that the trouble of keeping it, 
was equal to that of gaining it 5 for the 
conquered People would be ftill apt to 
rebel, or be expofed to Forreign Invafi- 
onF, fo that they muft always be in War, 
cither for them, or againft them 5 and th<ft 
therefore they could never difband their 
Army : That in the mean time Taxes lay 
heavy on them, that Mony went out x)f 
the Kingdom 3 that their Blood was (a- 
crificed to their King's Ghrj/^^nd that they 
were nothing the better by it, even in 
time of Peace 5 their Manners being cor- 
rupted by a long War 5 Robbing and 
Murders abounding every where, and 
their Laws falling under contempt,becaiile 
their King being diftrafted with the Cares 
of the Kingdom, was lefi able to apply 
his Mind to any one of them 3 when they 
(aw there would be no end of thofe Evils, 
they by joint Councils made an humble 
Addrefi to their King, defiring him to 
chufe which of the two Kingdoms he bad 
the greateft mind to keep, fince he could 
not hold both s for they were too great a 
People to be governed by a divided King, 



fince no Man would willingly have a 
Groom that (hould be in common be- 
tween him and another. Upon which the 
good Prince was forced to quit his new 
Kingdom to one of his Friends, ( who 
was not long after dethroned ) and to be 
contented with his old One. To all this 
I would add, that after all thofe Warlike 
Attempts, and the vaft Confufions, with 
the Confumptions both of Trealure and 
of People, that muft follow them 5 per* 
haps uponfome Misfortune, they might 
be forced to throw up all at laft 5 there- 
fore it feemed much more eligible that the 
King (hould improve his ancient King- 
dom all he could, and make it flourilh as 
much as was poffible 3 that he (hould 
love bis People, and be beloved of them 5 
that be (hould live among them, and go- 
vern them gently 5 and that he (hould let 
other Kingdoms alone, fince that which 
had fallen to his (hare was big enough, if 
not too big for him. Pray how do you 
think would fuch a Speech as this be 
heard ? I confe(s, faid I, I think not very 

But what faid he, if I (hould (on with 
another kind of Minifters, who(e chief 
Contrivances and Gon(ultations were, by 

E 3 wb^t 

46 Sir Thomas More'^ 

what Art Treafure might be heaped up ? 
Where one propofcs, the crying up of 
Mony, when the King had a great Debt 
on hioi, and the crying it down as much 
iwhen his Revenues were to come in, that 
fo he might both pay much with a little, 
and in a litde receive a great deal : Ano- 
thcr propofes a pretence of a War, that 
fo Money might be raifed in order to the 
carrying it on, and that a Peace might be 
concluded as ibon as thiit was done 5 and 
this was to be made up with fuch appear- 
ances of Religion as might work on the 
People, and make them impute it to the 
piety of their Prince, and to his tendernefi 
of the Lives of his Subjcfts. A third offers 
fjipe eld mufty Laws, that have been 
antiquated by a long difufe 5 and which, 
fls they had been forgotten by all the Sub- 
jccls, fo they had been alfo broken by 
ihcm f and that the levying of the Penal- 
ties of thele Lawsy as it would bring in a 
vaft Treafure, fo there might be a very 
good Pretence for it, fince it would look 
like the executing of Law, and the doing 
of Juftice. A fourth propofes the prohi- 
biting of many things under fevere Penal- 
lies, efpecialiy fuch things as were againft 
the Intertft oif. the People, and then the 



di(penfing with theft Prohibitions upon' 
great Compofitions, to thofe who might 
make Advantages by breaking them. This 
would ferve two ends^both of them accep- 
table to many 5 for as thoie whofe Avarice 
led them to tranfgrefi, would be feverely 
fined 5 (bthe felling Licences dear, would 
look as if a Prince were tender of his Peo- 
ple, and would not eafily, or at low Rates, 
difpen(e with any thing that might be a- 
gainft the Publick Good. Another pro- 
poies, tha(^^ Judges muft be made fure, 
that they may declare always in favor of 
the Prerogative, that they muft be often 
fent for to Court, that the King may hear 
them areue thofe Points in which he is 
concerned :, fince that how unjuft ibever 
any of his Pretenfions may be, yet ffill 
fome one or other of them, either out of 
contradiftion to others, or the pride of 
fingularity , or that they may make 
their Court, would find out fome Pre- 
tence or other to give the King_ a_fair co- 
lour to carry the Point ; For if the Jud ges 
but differ in Opinion, the cleareJt thing 
in the World is made by that m eanr? i(^ 
'putable, "and Truth being once brought in 
"queftion, the King upon that may take 
^vantage to expound the Law for his 

Ip 4 owq 

4 8 Sir Thomas Mote'5 

own profit: the Judges that ftand out 
will be brought over, either out of fear or 
inodefty , and they being thus gained, all 
of them may be fent to the Bench to give 
Sen tence boldly,as the Kin^ w ould have it : 
for Fair Pretences w ill never 5c wanting 
when Sentence is t o be giv e n in th e 
Prince's Fav or : it will either beTaid, that 
Equity lies ot his fide, or fome words in 
the Law will be found founding that way, 
or fome forced fence will be put on thecQ^ 
and when all other things faitt|he King's 
undoubted Prerogative will be pretended, 
as that which is above all Law 3 and to 
which a Religious Judg ought to have 
a fpecial regard. Thus all confent to that 
Maxim of Crajfm^ That a Prince cannot 
have Treafure enough, fince he muft main- 
tain his Armies out of it : that a King, 
even tho he would, can do nothing un- 
juftly5 that all Property is in him, not 
excepting the very Perfons of hisSubjeSs : 
And that no Man has any other Property, 
but that which the King out of his good- 
nefs thinks fit to leave him : and they 
think it is the Prince's Intereft, that there 
be as little of this left as may be, as if it 
were his advantage that his People fhould 
have neither Riches nor Liberty 5 fince 



thefe things make them lefi ca(y and tame 
to a cruel and injuft Government, whereas 
Neceffity and Poverty blunts them, 
makes them patient, and bears them down, 
and breaks that height of Spirit^that might 
otherwife difpofe them to rebel. Now 
what if after all thefe Propofitions 
were made, I fliould rife up and affert. 
That fuch Councels were both unbecom- 
ing aKi ng, and mifchi evous t o him : and 
that not only his Hdno FBut hi s Safety con* 
filtcJmore in EisHPcoples W ealtltTtBan 
in his owns it I liaould tfaew, that they 
cEoofeTKTng for their own fake, and not 
for his s that by his care and endeavors 
they may be both eafy and (afe : and that 
therefore a Prince ought to take more care 
of his Peoples Happinefe, than of his own, 
as a Shepherd is to take more care of his 
Flock than of himfelf. It is alfo certain, 
that they are much miftaken, that think 
the Poverty of a Nation is a means of the 
Publick Safety : Who quarrel more than 
B^gers do? who dixs more earneftly 
long for a change, than he that is uneafy 
in his prefent Circumftances > and who 
run in to create Confuficws with fo defpe- 
rate a boldnefi, as thofe who having no- 
thing to lofe, hope to gain by them> If 

5 o Sir Thomas More'j 

a King (liould fall under (b much con- 
tempt or envy, that he could not keep 
his Subjeds in their Duty, but by Op- 
prcffion and ill Ufage, and by impove- 
HiiHng them, it were certainly better for 
luci to quit his Kingdom, than to retain 
it by fuch Methods, by which tho he 
keeps the Name of Authority, y^t he 
lofo the Ma)efty duetoit. Nor~^Kinb 
becoming the Uignity of a "KTng~l:o"reign 
over^ ggars, as to rerghover ficfi ~^and 
happy SuBjeCls. Aiid~thereBre fabrHiu^, 
that was"a Man of a noble and exalted 
Temper, (aid. He would rather govejm 
rich Men, than be rich hinsftlf, and_for 
one Man t oiBound' in Wealth and Ple a- 
fare, when all abo ut him are mourning 
qnd groaning, is to^ a ^^j oaTeFand not a 

cannot c ure a Dife afe, but by cafting his 
Patient i nto anothe r ; So he that can find 
no ether way for correcting the Errors of 
his People, but by taking from them the 
Conveniences of Life,{liews that he knows 
not what it is to govern a free Nation. 
He himfclf ought rather to fhake oft his 
Sloth, or to lay down his Pride ; for the 
Contempt or Hatred that his People have 
fox hi.TTj takes its rife from the Vices in 


himfelC Let him live upon what belongs 
to himlelfi without wronging others, and 
accommodate his Expence to his Reve- 
nue. Let him punifh Crimes, and by his 
wife Condud: let him endeavour to pre- 
vent them, rather than be fevere when he 
has fufFered them to be too common : Let 
him not rafhly revive Laws that are ab- 
brogated by difufe, efpecially if they have 
been long forgotten, and never wanted. 
And let him never take any Penalty for 
the breach of them, to which a Judg 
would not give way in a private Man, but 
would look on him as a crafty and unjuft 
Perlbn for pretending to it. To thcfe 
things I would add, that Law among the 
Mcicarians^ that lie not far from Utopia^ 
by which their King, in the day on which 
he begins to reign, is tied by an Oath con- 
firmed by folcmn Sacrifices, never to have 
at once above a thouftnd Pounds of 
Gold in his Treafures, or fo much Silver 
as is equal to that in value. This Law, as 
they fay, was made by an excellent King, 
who had more regard to the Riches of his 
Country, than to his own Wealth 5 and 
io provided againft the heaping up of fo 
much Treafure, as might impoverifti the 
(People : he thought that moderate Sum 


5 1 S/> Thomas More'i^ 

might be (ufficient for any Accident ^ if ei- 
ther the King had occafion for it againft 
Rebcls,or the Kingdom againft the Invafipn 
of anEnemy^but that it was not enough to 
encourage a Prince to invade other Mens 
Rights, which was the chief caufe of his 
making that Law. He al(b thought, th^t 
it was a good Provifion for a free circula- 
tion of Mony, that is neceflary for the 
courfe of CcMnmerce and Exchange : And 
when a King muft diftribute afi thefc ex- 
traordinary Acceffions that encreafe Trea- 
fiire beyond the due pitch, it make^ him 
left difpofed to oppreG his Subjefts. Such 
a King as this is, will be the terror of ill 
Men,and will be beloved of all good Men. 
If, I fiy, I fhould talk of thefc or fiicb 
like things, to Men that had taken their 
biafs another way, how deaf would they 
be to it all ? No doubt, very cjeaf, an- 
fwered I , and no wonder, for one is n<e- 
ver to offer at Propofitions or Advices, 
that he is certain will not be entercained. 
Difcourfes fo much out of the rqad could 
not avail any thing, nor have any effed 
on Men, whofe Minds were prepi^eflfed 
with different Semiraents.This Philofophi- 
cal way of Speculation, is not unpkalant 
among Friends in a becConvenimon y 



but there is no room for it in the Courts 
of Princes, where great Affairs arc carried 
on by Authority. That is what I was 
iaying, replied he, that there is no room 
for Philofophy in the Courts of Princes, 
Ye?5 there is, faid I, but not for this Spe- 
culative Philofophy, that makes ever,y 
thirtg to be alike fitting at all times : But 
there is another Philofophy that is more 
pliable, that knows its proper Scene, and 
accommodates it (elf to it; and that 
teaches a Man to aft that 'part wbkh has 
fallen to his (hare, fitly and decently. If 
when one of Plantuss Ccnnedies is upon 
the Stage, and a Company of Servants 
are ading their parts, you ftiould come 
out in the Garb of a Philofopher, and 
tepeat out of O^avia^ a Difcourfe of 5^- 
)necas to Nero^ had it not been better for 
you to havie (aid nothing, than by mixir^ 
things of fuch different Natures, to have 
tnade fuch an impertinent Tragi-Comedy ? 
fcr you fpoil and corrupt the Play that is 
in t^nd, when you mix with it things di(^ 
agreeing to it, even tho they were better 
than it is : therefore go through with the 
Pky that is afting, the beft you can 5 and 
do not confound it, becaufe another that 
is pleafanter comes into your thoughts. It 


5 4 Sir T homas More'x 

is even (b in a Common-Wealth, and ia 
the Councils of Princes 5 if ill Opini- 
ons cannot be quite rooted out 3 and if 
you cannot cure fome received Vices ac- 
cording to your v^'ifties, you muft not 
therefore abandon the Common- Wealth 5 
or forlake the Ship in a Scorm^becaufe you 
cannot command the Winds ; nor ought 
you to affault People with Difcourfes that 
are out of their Road, when you fee 
their Notions are fuch that you can make 
no impreffion on them : but you ought 
to cafl about, and as far as you can to 
manage things dextroufly, that fb if you 
cannot make Matters go well, they may 
he as little ill as is poflible^ for except all 
Men were good, all things cannot go 
Well 5 which I do not hope to fee in a 
great while. By this, anfwered he, all 
that I (hall do (hall be to preferve my 
felf from being mad, while I endeavour 
to cure the madneis of other People : for 
if I Will (peak truth,l muft fay fuch things 
as I was formerly faying 3 and for lying, 
whether a Philofopher can do it or not, I 
cannot tell 3 I am fure I cannot do it. 
But tho the(e Di(cour(€S may be uneafy 
and ungrateful to them, I do not fee why 
they (hould feem foolifh or extravagant : 



indeed if I (hould either propofe fuch 
things as Plato has contrived in his Qomr 
mon- Wealth, or as the Utopians praftiftj 
in theirs, the they might ft^em better, as 
certainly they are, yet theyr are Co quite 
different from our Eftabliilimciir, whidi 
is founded on Property, there beicig no 
fuch thing among thera, that I could no^ 
expeiS that it (hould have any eiFed oa 
them : But fuch Di(cour(es as, mine, that 
only call paft. Evils to mind, and give 
warning of v^hat may ibilovv, have Ba- 
thing in them that is fb abfurd, that they 
may not be u(ld at any time ^ for tlsej 
can only be unpleafant to tho(e who are 
rcfolved to run head I oag the contrary 
way : jind if we muft kt alone every 
thing as abfurd or extravagant, which bij 
:reafon of the wicked Lives of many maj 
ftera uncouth, we muft, even among Chri- 
ftians, give over preffing the greatefl part 
of thofe things that Chrift hath taught issj 
the he has commanded us not to conceal 
them, but to proclaita on the Houfe-topi 
that which he taught in ftcret. The 
greatefl: parts of his Precepts aiie fnore 
difagreeing to the Lives of the Meo of 
thii.' Age, than any part of iiiy Difcourfe 
has been : But the Preachers, ftem to have 


5 6 Sir Thomas More*^ 

\ learn d that craft to which you advifeme^ 
I for they obferving that the World would 
I not willingly fute their Lives to the Rules 
I tbatGhrift has given, have fitted his Do- 
drine, "as if it had been a leaden Rule, 
to their Lives ^ that fo fome way or other 
they might agree with one another. But 
I fee no other effeft of this compliance, 
except it be that Men become more ft- 
cure in their wickednefi by it. And this is 
all the fiiccefs that I can have in a Court 5 
for I muft always differ from the reft, and 
then I will fignify nothing 5 or if I a- 
gree with them, then I will only help 
forward their madnefi. I do not compre- 
hend what you mean by your cafting 
about, or by the bending and handling 
things fo dextroufly, that if they go not 
well, they may go as little ill as may be : 
for in Courts they will not bear with a 
Man's holding his peace, or conniving at 
them : a Man muft bare-facedly approve 
of the worft Councils, and con&nt to the 
blackeft Defigns : So that one would pa(s 
for a Spy, or poffibly for a Traitor, that 
did but coldly approve of fuch wic- 
ked Praftices : And when a Man is en- 
gaged in fuch a Society, he will be fo for 
from being able to mend Matters by his 



calling about, as you call it, that he will 
find no occafions of doing any good : 
the ill Qjrnpany will fooner corrupt him, 
than be the better for him : or if not- 
withftanding all their ill Company, he 
remains ftill entire and innocent, yet their 
Follies and Knavery will be imputed to 
him 5 and by mixing Councils with them, 
he niuft bear his (hare of all the blame 
that belongs wholly to others. 

It was no ill Simily, by which Plato 
fet forth the unreafonablenefe of a Philo- 
fbpher s medliag with Government ; If 
one, lays he, (hall fee a great company 
run out into the Rain every day, and de^ 
light to be wet in it 5 and if he knows 
that it will be to no purpofe for him to 
go and perfwade them to come into their 
Houfcs, and avoid the Rain 5 fo that all 
that can be expefted from his going to 
ipeak to them, will be, that he fhall be 
wet with them 3 when it is fb, he does beft 
tokeep within Doors, and preferve bim- 
CJf,fince he cannot prevail enough to cor- 
reft other Peoples Folly. 

Tho to fpeak plainly what is my Heart, 
I muft freely own to you, that as long as 
there is any Property, and while Mony is 
the Standard of all other thipgSj I cannot 

F think 

5 8 Sir Thomas More'i 

think that a Nation can be governed 
either Juftly or Happily : Not Juftly, be- 
caule the beft things will fall to the (hare 
ot the worft of Men : Nor Happily, be- 
caufe all things will be divided among a 
few, (and even thefe are not in all re- 
fpefts happy) the reft being left to be 
abfolutely liiiferable. Therefore when I 
refleft on the wife and good Conftituti- ' 
ons of the Utopians^ among whom all 
things are fo well governed, and with io 
few Laws 5 and among whom as Vertue 
hath its due reward, yet there is (uch an 
equality, that every Man lives in plenty 3 
2nd when I compare with them fo many 
other Nations that are ftill making new 
Laws, and yet can never bring their Con- 
ftiiution to a right Regulation, among 
whom tho every one has his Property 5 yet 
all the Laws that they can invent, canriot 
prevail fo far, that Men can either obtain 
or preferve it, or be certainly able to di-' 
flinguith what is their own, from what is 
another Man's 3 of which the many Law 
Suits that every 'day break out, and de- 
pend without any end, give too plain a 
demonftration : When, I (ay, I ballance 
all thefe things in my thoughts, I grow 
more fevourabk to l^lato^ ^nd do not 



wonder that he relblved, not to make any 
Laws for fuch as would not fubmit to a 
community of all things : For fo wile a- 
Man as he was, could not but forefee that' 
the letting all upon the Level, was the 
only way to make a Nation happy 3 Vv'hich 
cannot be obtained fo long as there is Pro- 
perty ; for when every Man drav7s to him- 
felf all that he can compafs, by one Title 
or another, it raufl: needs follow, that 
how plentiful foevef a Nation may be, yet 
a kw dividing the Wealth of it among 
themfelves, the reft muft fall under Po- 
verty. So that there will be two forts 
of People them, that deferve that 
their Fortunes (hould be interchanged 5; 
the former being ufelefs, but wicked and 
ravenous 5 and the latter, who by their 
donftant induftry (erve the Publick more 
than themfelves, being fincere and modeft; 
Men. From whence I am perfvvaded, that 
till Property is taken away, there can be' 
lio equitable or juft diftributiori made of 
things, nor can the World be happily go- 
^rned : for as long as that is laaintained, 
the greateft and the far beft part of Man- 
kind, will be ftill oppf eflied with^ a load 
of Cares and Anxieties, rcohfefi^ with- 
imt the taking of it quite away^ tho(e' 

F 2 Preffur^a 

6o Sir Thomas More'i 

Preffures that lie on a great part of Man- 
kind, may be made lighter ^ but they 
can never be quite removed. For if Laws 
were made, determining at how great an 
extent in Soil, and at how much Mony 
every Man muft ftop, and limiting the 
Prmce that he may not grow too great^ 
and reftraining the People that they may 
not become too infblent, and that none 
might faftioufly afpire to publick Employ- 
ments 5 and that they might neither be 
fold, nor made burdenfome by a great 
CKpence^ fince otherwife thofe that ferve 
in them, will be tempted to reimburfe 
themfelves by Cheats and Violence, and 
it will become neceffary to find out rich 
Men for undergoing thofe Employments 
for which wife Men ought rather to be 
fought out 5 tbefe Laws, I fay, may have 
fuch EfFefts, as good Diet and Care may 
have on a Sick Man, whofe recovery is 
defperate : they may allay and mitigate 
the Difeafe, but it can never be quite 
healed, nor the Body Politick be brought 
again to a good Habit, as long as Proper- 
ty remains 3 and it will fall out as in a 
complication of Difeafts, that by apply- 
ing a Remedy to one Sore, you will pro- 
voke another 5 and that which removes 



one ill Symptom, produces others, while 
the ftrengthning of one part of the Body 
weakens the reft. On the contrary, an- 
fwered I, it ferns to me that Men cannot 
live conveniently, where all things are 
common : How can there be any Plenty, 
where every Man will cxcule himfelf from 
Labour ? For as the hope of Gain doth 
not excite him., fo the confidence that he 
has in other Mens Induftry, may make 
him flothful : And if People come to be 
pinched vmh Want, and yet cannot dif- 
po(e of any thing as their own 5 what can 
follow upon this, but perpetual Sedition 
and Bloodfhed, cfpecially when the Reve- 
rence and Authority due to Magiftrate^ 
falls to the Ground ? For I cannot ima- 
gine how that can be kept up among thofe 
that are in all things equal to one another, 
I do not wonder, faid he, that it appears 
(b to you, fince you have no Notion, or 
at lead no right one, of fuch a ConftitU" 
tion : But if you had been in ZJtopia with 
me, and had feen their Laws and Rules 
as I did, for the fpace of five Years, in 
which I lived among them 5 and during 
which time I was fo delighted with them, 
that indeed I would never have left them, 
if it had not been to make the difcovery 

F 3 of 

6 z Sir Thomas MoreV 

of that new World to the Europeans 3 you 
would then confefs that you had never 
|een a People Co well conftituted as they 
iire. You will not eafily perfwade me, 
(aid Peter^ that any Nation in that, New 
World, is better governed than thofe 
among; us are. For as our Underftand- 
ings are not worfe than theirs, fo our Go- 
vernment, if I miftake not, being ancien- 
ter, a long praftice has helped us to find 
out many Conveniences of Life : And 
fbme happy Chances have difcovered 
other things to us, which no Man's Lfnder- 
jflanding could ever have invented. As 
for the Antiquity, either of their Govern- 
^ menr, or of our?, (aid he, you cannot 
pafs a true Judgment of it, unlefs you had 
read their Hiflories 5 for if they are to be 
believed, they had Towns among them, 
before the(e parrs were (b much as inha- 
bited : And as for the(e Difcoveries, that 
have been either hit on by chance, or 
made by ingenious Men, the(e might 
have hapned there as well as here. I do 
not deny but we are more ingenious than 
they are, but they exceed us much in In- 
duftry and Application : They knew little 
concerning us, before our arrival among 
them 5 they call us all by a general Name 
t. of 


of the Nations that lie beyond the Equi- 
noiSial Line 3 for their Chronicle mentions 
a ShipH acK that was made on their Coaft 
1200 V ears ago 5 and that (bme Romans 
and Eg)pjims that were in the Ship, get- 
ting (afe a Shore, fpent the reft of their 
daysamongft them 3 and fuch was their 
Ingenuity, that from this fingle Opportu- 
nity, they drew the advantage of Learn- 
ing from thofe unlook'd for Guefts, all the 
ufeful Arts that were then among the Ro- 
mans , which thole Shipwrack'd Men 
knew : And by the Hints that they gave 
them, they them(elve« found out even 
fome of thofe Arts which they could not 
fully explain to them 5 (b happily did they 
improve that Accident, of having fome of 
our People caft upon their fhore ; But if 
any fuch Accident have at any time 
brought any from thence into Europe^ we 
have been lb far from impressing it, that 
we do not fo much as remember it 5 as in 
after Times perhaps it will be forgot by 
our People that I was ever there. For 
tho they from one fuch Accident, made 
themfelves Mafters of all the good Inven- 
tions that were among us 5 yet I believe 
it would be long before we would learH 
Qr put in praftice any of the good Infti- 

F 4 tution^ 

<54 Sir Thomas Mcre'5 

tutions that are among them : And this is 
the true Caufe of their being better go- 
verned, and living happier than we do, 
tho we come not (hort of them in point 
of Underftanding, or outward Advanta* 
ges. Upon this I faid to him, I do ear- 
neftly beg of you, that you would d€- 
fcribe that Ifland very particularly to us. 
Be not too (hort in it, but fet out in or- 
der all things relating to their Soil, their 
Rivers, their Towns, their People, their 
Manners, Conftitution, Laws, and in a 
word, all that you imagine we defire to 
know : and you may well imagine that 
we defire to know every thing concerning 
them, of which we are hitherto ignorant. 
I will do it very willingly, (aid he, for I 
have digefted the whole Matter carefully 5 
but it will take up fome time. Let us go 
then, faid I, firft and dine, and then we 
fhall have lei>fure enough. Be it (b, (aid 
he. So we went in and dined, and after 
Dinner we came back, and fat down in 
the fame place. I ordered my Servants to 
take care that none might come and in- 
terrupt us : and both Peter and I de(ired 
Raphael to be as good as Ws word : So 
when he faw that we were very intent up- 


on it, he paufed a little to recollefl: himfel^ 
and began in this manner. 

The Second BooJ^ 

THE Ifland of Vtopia, in the middle 
of it, where it is broadeft, is 200 
miles broad, and holds almoft at the fame 
breadth over a great part of it , but it 
grows. narrower towards both ends. Its 
Figure is not unlike a Crelcent : between 
its Horns, the Sea comes in eleven miles 
broad, and fpreads it ftlf into a great Bay, 
which is environed with Land to the com- 
pafi of about 500 miles, and is well (ecu- 
red from Winds : There is no great Cur- 
rent in the Bay, and the whole Coaft 
is, as it were, one continued Harbour, 
which gives all that live in the Ifland great 
convenience for mutual Commerce : but 
the entry into the Bay, what by Rocks on 
one hand,and Shallows on the Gther,is very 
dangerous. In the middle of it there is 
one fingle Rock which appears above 
Water, and fo is not dangerous 5 on the 
top of it there is a Tower built, in which 
a GarrifoQ is kept. The other Rocks lie 


6,6, iS/V Thomas M or e'^ 

under Water, and are very dangerous* 
The Channel is known only to theNatives, 
fo that if any Stranger (hould enter into 
the Bay, without one of their Pilates, 
he would run a great danger of Ship- 
WTack : for even they themfelves could 
not pafi it (life, if fome marks that are on 
their Coafi: did not dired their way 5 and 
if thefe (hould be but a little fhifted, any 
Fleet that might come cjgauift them, how 
great (beyer it were, would be certainly loft. 
On the other fide of the Ifland, there are 
likewife many Harbours 5 and the Coaft 
is fo fortiiied,both by Nature and Art, that 
a feiall number of Men can hinder the def- 
cent of a great Army. But they report 
(and there remains good marks of it to 
make it credible) that this was no Ifland at 
firft, but a part of the Continent. ZJtopus 
that conquered it ( whole Nameit ftill car- 
ries, for Abraxa was its firft Name) and 
brought the rude and uncivilized Inhabi- 
tants into fuch a good Government, and 
to that meafure of Politenefs,that they do 
now fir excel all the reft of mankind ^ 
having foon fubdued them, he defigned 
to ieparate them from the Continent, and 
and to bring the Sea quite about them, 
viid in order to that he made a deep 



Channel to be digged fifteen miles long : 
He not only forced the Inhabitants to 
work at it, but likewife his own Souldiers, 
that the Natives might not think he treated 
them like Slaves ^and having fet vaft num- 
bers of Men to v^ork, he brought it to 
a fpeedy conclufion beyond all Mens ex- 
peftations : By this theit Neighbours, who 
laughed at the folly of the Undertaking 
at firft, were (truck with admiration and 
terror, when they faw it brought to per- 
fection. There are 54 Cities in the Ifland, 
all large and well built : the Manners, 
Cuftoms, and Laws of all their Cities are 
the fame, and they are all contrived as 
near in the (ame manner, as the Ground 
on which they ftand will allow: The 
neareft lie at leaft 24 miles diftant from 
one another, and the moft remote are not 
fb far diftant, but that a Man can go on 
foot in one day from it, to that which lies 
next it. Every City fends three of their 
wifeft Senators once a Year to Amaurot^ 
for confulting about their common Con- 
cerns 5 for that is the cheifTown of the 
Ifland, being fituated near the Center of 
it,(b that it is the moft convenient place for 
their Affemblies. Every City has fo much 
Ground fct off for its Jurisdiftion, that 


68 S/> Thomas More'^ 

there is twenty miles of Soil round it, af- 
figned to it : and where the Towns lie 
wider, they have much more Ground : 
no Town defires to enlarge their Bounds, 
for they confider themfelves rather is Te- 
nants than Landlords of their Soil. They 
have built over all the Country, Farm- 
houfes for Hufbandmen, which are vi^ell 
contrived, and arc furnilhed with all 
things neceflary for Countey-labour. In- 
habitants are (ent by turns from the Cities 
to dwell in them 5 no Country-iamily 
has fewer than fourty Men and Women in 
it, befides two Slaves. There is a Mafter 
and a Miftrefi fet over every Family 5 and 
over thirty Families there is a Magi- 
ftrate fetled. Every Year twenty of this 
Family come back to the Town, after 
they have ftayed out two Years in the 
Country : and in their room there are 
other twenty fent from the Town, that 
they may learn Country-work, from 
thofe that have been already one Year 
in the Country, which they muft teach 
thole that come to them the next Year 
from the Town. By this means fuch as 
dwell in thofe Country-Farms, are never 
ignorant of Agriculture, and fo commit 
no Errors in it, which might otherwife be 


UTOPIA. 65? 

fatal to them, arid bring them under a 
fcarcity of Corn. But tho there is every 
Year fiich a {hifting of the Hufbandmen^ 
that none may be forced againft his mind 
to follow that hard courfe of life too long 3 
yet many among them take fuch pleafure 
in it, that they defire leave to continue 
many Years in it. Thefe Hufbandmen 
labour the Ground, breed Cattel, hew 
Woodland convey it to the Towns, either 
by Land or Water, as is moft conveni- 
ent. They breed an infinite multitude of 
Chickens in a very curious manner: for 
the Hens do not fit and hatch them, but 
they lay vaft numbers of Eggs in a gentle 
and equal heat,in which they are hatched ^ 
and they are no (boner out of the Shell, 
and able to ftir about, but they feem to 
confider thofe that feed them as their Mo- 
thers, and follow them as other Chickens 
do the Hen that hatched them. They 
breed very few Horfes, but thpfe they 
have, are full of Mettle, and are kept on- 
ly for exercifing their Youth in the Art of 
fitting and riding of them 5 for they do 
not put them to any Work, either of 
Plowing or Carriage, in which they im- 
ploy Oxen 5 for tho Horfes are ftronger, 
yet they find Oxen can hold out longer ^ 


70 Sir Thomas More'j 

and as they are not fubjeft to (b many 
Difeafts, fo they are kept upon a lefs 
charge, and with left trouble : And when 
they are fo worn out, that they are no 
more fit for labour, they are gbod Meat 
at laft. They fow no Corn, but that 
which is to be their Bread 3 for they 
drink either Wine, Cider, or Perry, and 
often Water, fometimes pure, and fome- 
timcs boiled with Hony or Liquorilh, 
with which they abound : and tho they 
know exaftly well how much Corn will 
ferve every Town, and all that traft of 
Country which belongs to it, yet they 
fow much more, and breed more Cattel 
than are necefl'ary for their confumption : 
and they give that overplus of which 
they make no ufe to their Neighbours. 
When they want any thing in the Coun- 
try which it does not produce, they fetch 
that from the Town, without carrying 
any thing in exchange for it: and the 
Magiftrates of the Town take cafe to fee 
it given them ; for they meet generally in 
the Town once a month, upon a Feftival- 
Day. When the time of Harveft comes, 
the Magiftrates in the Country fend to 
thofe in the Towns, and let them know 
how many hands they will need for reapr 


ing the Harveft 5 and the ilumber they ~^ 
call for being fent to them, they common- 
ly difpatch it all in one day. 

Of their Towns^ farikularlj ^/ Amaurot. 

HE that knows one of their Towas^ 
knows them all, they are (b like 
one another, except where the fcituation 
makes fbme difference. I (hall therefore 
defcribe one of them, and it is no matter 
which 5 but none is fo proper as Amaurot: 
for as none is more eminent, all the reft 
yielding in precedence to this, becaufe it 
is the ^at of their Supream Council 5 fo 
there was none of them better known to 
me, I having lived five Years altogether 
in it. 

It lies upon the fide of a Hill, or rather 
a rifing Ground: its Figure is almoft 
(quare, for from the one fide of it, which 
(hoots up almoft to the top of the Hill, it 
runs down in a defcent for two miles to 
the River Amder 3 but it is a little broader 
the other way that runs along by the 
Bank of that River. The Anider rife? 
about 80 miles above Amaurot^ m a froaU 
Springatfirft, but other Brooks falling 
into it, of which two are more confide?- 

rable : 

7x Sir Thomas More'x 

rable, as it runs by Amanrot^ it is grown 
half a mile broad, but it (till grows larger 
and larger, till after fixty miles courfc be- 
low it, it is buried in the Ocean. Be- 
tween the Town and the Sea, and for 
(bme miles above the Town, it ebbs and 
flows every fix hours, with a ftrong Cur- 
rent. The Tide comes up for about 
thirty miles fo full, that there is nothing 
but Salt-water in the River, the freft) 
Water being driven back with its force j 
and above that, for fome miles, the Wa- 
ter is brackifli, but a little higher, as it 
runs by the Town, it is quite frelh 5 and 
when the Tide ebbs, it continues fre(h all 
along to the Sea. There is a Bridg caft 
over the River, not of Timber, but of 
fair Stone, confifting of many ftately 
Arches 5 it lies at that part of the Town 
which is fartheft from the Sea, fo that 
Ships without any hindrance lie all along 
the fide of the Town. There is liJiewife 
another River that runs by it, which tho 
it is not great, yet it runs pkafantly, for it 
rifes out of the (ame Hill on which the 
Town {lands, and fo runs down throw it, 
and falls into the Amder. The Inhabi- 
tants have fortified the Fountain-head of 
this River, which fprings a little without 



the Towns 5 that fo if they Ihould hap* 
pen to be befieged, the Enemy might not 
be able to ftop or divert the courfe of 
the Water, nor poifon it 3 from thence 
It IS carried in earthen Pipes to the lower 
Streets : and for thofe places of the Town 
to which the Water of that fmall River 
cannot be conveyed, they have greac Ci- 
fterns for receiving the Rain-water, which 
iupplies the want of the other. The 
Town is compaflbd with a high and thick 
Wall, in which there are many Towers 
and Forts 5 there is alfo a broad and deep 
dry Ditch, (et thick with Thorns, caft 
round three fides of the Town, and the 
River is inftead of a Ditch on the fourth 
fide. The Streets are made very conve- 
nient for all Carriage, and are well (hel- 
tred from the Winds. Their Buildings 
are good, and are fo uniform, that a 
whole fide of a Street looks like one 
Houfe. The Streets are twenty foot 
broad 5 there lie Gardens behind all their 
Houfes 3 thefe are large^but enclofed with 
Buildings, that on all Hands face the 
Streets, fo that every Houfe has both a 
Door to the Street, and a back Door to 
the Garden : their Doors have all two 
Leavesj which as they are eafily opened, 

G fo 

<mm^^^ " — 

74 Sir Thomas \Aoxts 

fo they (hut of their own accord 5 and 
there being no Property among them, 
every Man may freely enter into any 
Houfe whatfoever. At every ten Years 
ends, they ftiift their Houfes by Lots. 
They cultivate their Gardens with great 
care, fo that they have both Vines, Fruits, 
Herbs, and Flowers in them 5 and all is 
fo well ordered, and fo finely kept, that 
I never faw Gardens any where that were 
both fo fruitful and fo beautiful as theirs 
are. And this humor of ordering their 
Gardens fo well, is not only kept up by 
the pleafure they find in it, but alfo by 
an emulation between the Inhabitants of 
the feveral Streets, who vie with one 
another in this Matter , and there is in- 
deed nothing belonging to the whole 
Town, that is both more ufeful, and more 
plealant. So that he who founded the 
Town, feems to have taken care of no- 
thing more than of their Gardens 3 for 
. they lay, the whole Scheme of the Town 
was defigned at firft by ZJtopi^j^ but he 
left all that belonged to the Ornament 
and Improvement of it, to be added by 
thofe that (hould come after him, that be- 
ing too much for one Man to bring to 
perfeftion. Their Records, that contain 



the Hiftory of their Town and State, are 

preferved with an exaft care, and run 

backwards 1760 Years. From the(e it 

appears, that their Houfes were at firft 

low and mean, like Cottages made of 

any (brt of Timber, and were built with 

mud Walls, and thatch'd with Straw .* 

but now their Houles are three Stories^ 

high, the Fronts of them are faced either 

with Stone, Plaiftering, or Brick 3 and 

between the facings of their Walls, they 

throw in their Rubbifti ^ their Roofs are 

flat, and on them they lay a (brt of Plai- 

fter which cofts very little, and yet is fo 

tempered, that as it is not apt to take 

Fire, fo it refifts the Weather more than 

Lead does. They have abundance of 

Glals among them, with which they glaze 

their Windows: they ufe alfo in their 

Windows, a thin linnen Cloth, that is fo 

oiled or gummed, that by that means it 

both lets in the Light more f i eely to them, 

and keeps out the Wind the better. 

G 2 Of 

y6 Sir Thomas More'^ 

' Of their ^agrjirates^ 

THirty Families chufe every Year a Ma- 
giftrate, who was called anciently 
the Syfbogrant^ but is now called the Fhi- 
larch : and over every ten Sjphogrants^ 
with the Families fubjeft to them, there is 
another Magiftrate, who was anciently 
called the Tranibore^ but of late the Arch- 
philarch, AD the Syphogrants, who are 
in ni!*" ber 200, chu(e the Prince out of a 
L:(l of four, whom the People of the 
four Divifions of the City name to them 5 
but they take an Oath before they pro- 
ceed to an Election, that they will chu(e 
him whom they think meeteft for the 
Office : They give their Voices ftcretly, 
fo that it is not known for whom every 
one gives his Suffrage. The Prince is for 
Life, unlefs he is removed upon fufpicion 
of fome defign to enflave the People. 
The Tran:hors are new chofen every Year, 
but yet they are for the mod part ftill 
continued : All their other Magiftrates 
are only Annual. The Trarjihors meet 
every third day, and oftner if need be, 
and confiilt with the Prince, either con- 
cerning the Affairs of the State in general, 



or fuch private Differences as may arife 
fometimes among the People 5 tho that 
falls out but feldom. There are always 
rwo Syphogrants called into the Council- 
Chamber, and theft are changed every 
day. It is a fundamental Rule of their 
Government, that no Conclufion can be 
made in any thing that relates to the Pub- 
lick, till it has been firft debated three fe- 
veral days in their Council. It is Death 
for any to meet and confult concerning 
the State, unlefs it be either in their ordi- 
nary Council, or in the Aflfembly of the 
whole Body of the People. 

Thefe things have been fo provided a- 
mong them, that the Prince and the Tra- 
nihors may not confpire together to 
change the Government, and enflave the 
People 5 and therefore when any thing 
of great importance is (et on foot, it is 
lent to the Syphogrants 3 who after they 
have communicated it with the Families 
that belong to their Divifions, and have 
confidered it among themlelves, make re- 
port to the Senate 5 and upon great Oc- 
cafions, the Matter is referred to the 
Council of the whole Ifland. One Rule 
obferved in their Council^ is, never to 
(Jebate a thing on the fame day in which 

G 3 i% 

7 8 Sir Thomas More'5 

is firft propoled 5 for that is always re- 
ferred to the next meeting, that fo Men 
niay not raftily, and in the heat of DiP- 
courfe, engage themfelves too foon, which 
may biafs them fo much, that inftead of 
confidering the Good of the Publick^ 
ihey will rather ftudy to maintain their 
own Notions -^ and by a perverfe and 
prcpofterous fort of (hame^ hazard their 
Country, rather than endanger their own 
Reputation, or venture the being fufpe- 
ftcd to have wanted forefight in the Ex- 
pedients that they propoled at firft. And 
therefore to prevent this, they take care 
that they may rather be deliberate, than 
fuddcn in their Motions. 

Of ihcir Trades^ and manner of Life, 

AGriculture is that which is fo uni-^ 
verfally underftood among them all, 
that no Perfon, either Man or Woman, is 
ignorant of it 5 from their Childhood 
they are inftrufted in it, partly by what 
they learn at School, and partly by pra- 
ftice, they being led out often into the 
Fields, about the Town, where they not 
only lee others at work, but are likewife 
cxercifed in U themfelves. Befides Agri- 


culture, which is fo common to them all, 
every Man has fome peculiar Trade to 
which he applies himfelf, fuch as the Ma- 
nufafture of Wool, or Flax, Mafonry, 
Smiths Work, or Carpenters Work 5 for 
there is no other fort of Trade that is in 
great efteem among them. All the llland 
over, they wear the fame fort of Clothes 
without any other diftinftion, except - 
that which is neceflary for marking the 
difference between the two Sexes, and 
the married and unmarried. The fafliioa 
never alters 5 and as it is not ungrateful 
nor uneafy, ^o it is fitted for their Cli- 
mate, and calculated both for their Sun> 
mers and Winters. Every Family makes 
their own Clothes 5 but all among them, 
Women as well as Men, learn one or 
other of the Trades formerly mentioned. 
Women, for the moft part, deal in Wool 
and Flax, which fute better with their 
feeblenefi, leaving the other ruder Trades 
to the Men. Generally the fame Trade 
paQes down from Father to Son, Inclina- 
tion often following Defeent : but if any 
Man s Genius lies another way, he is by 
Adoption trandated into a Family that 
deals in the Trade to which he is inclin- 
ed : And when that is to be done, care 

04 'v^ 

8o Sir Thomas More'^ 

is taken, not only by his Father, but by 
the Magiftrate, that he may be put to a 
difcreet and good Man. And if after a 
Man has learn'd one Trade, he defires to 
acquire another, that is alfo allowed, and 
is managed in the fame manner as the for- 
mer. When he has learn'd both, he fol- 
lows that which he likes beft, unlefi the 
Publick has more occafion for the o- 

The chief, and almoft the only Bufinefi 
of the Syphogranis^ is to take care that no 
Man may live idle, but that every one 
may follow his Trade diligently : yet they 
do not wear themfelves out with perpe- 
tual Toil, from Morning to Night, as if 
they were Beafts of Burden 5 which as it 
is indeed a heavy flavery, fo it is the com- 
mon courfe of Life of all Tradefmen eve- 
ry where, except among the Utopians : 
But they dividing the Day and Night in- 
to twenty four hours, appoint fix of thefe 
for Work, three of ihem are before Din- 
ner 5 and after that they dine, and inter- 
rupt their Labour for two hours, and then 
they go to work again for other three 
hours 5 and after that they fup, and at 
eight a Clock, counting from Noon, they 
go to bed and fleep eight hours : and for 



their other hours, befides thofe of Work, 
and thofe that go for eating and fleeping, 
they are left to every Man s difcretion 5 
yet they are not to abufe that Interval to 
Luxury and Idlenefs^but muft imploy it in 
feme proper Exercife according to their 
various InclinationSj which is for the 
mofl: part Reading. It is ordinary to have 
Publick Ledures every Morning before 
day-break 5 to which none are obliged to 
go, but thofe that are mark'd out for Li- 
terature 5 yet a great many, both Men 
and Women of all Ranks, go to hear Le- 
ftures of one fort or another, according 
to the variety of their Inclinations. But 
if others, that are not made for Contem- 
plation, chufc rather to imploy themfelves 
at that time in their Trade, as many of 
them do, they are not hindred, but are 
commended rather, as Men that take care 
to ferve their Country. After Supper, 
they fpend an hour in fome Diverfion : In 
Summer it is in their Gardens, and in 
Winter it is in the Halls where they eat ^ 
and they entertain themfelves in them, 
either with Mufick or Difeourfe. They 
do not fo much as know Dice, or fuch- 
like foolifti and mifchievous Games : They 
have tv^'o forts of Games not unlike our 


8 z Sir Thomas More'^ 

Chefs J the one is between feveral Num- 
bers, by which one number, as it were, 
confumes another : the other refembles a 
Battel between the Vices and the Vertues, 
in which the Enmity in the Vices among 
ihemfelves, and their agreement againit 
Venue is not unpleafantly reprefented 5 
together with the fpecial oppofitions be- 
tween the particular Vertues and Vices 5 
as alio the Methods by which Vice does 
either openly aflauk, or fecretly under- 
mine Vertue 5 and Vertue on the other 
hand refifts it 5 and the means by which 
cither fide obtains the Viftory. But this 
matter of the time fet off for Labour, is 
to be narrowly examined, otherwife you 
may perhaps imagine, that fince there are 
only fix hours appointed for Work, they 
may fall under a Scarcity of NeceiTary 
Provifions. But it is fo far from being 
true, that this time is not fufEcient for ap- 
plying them with a plenty of all things, 
that are either neceffary or convenient , 
that it is rather too much ^ and this you 
will eafily apprehend, if you confider 
how great a part of all other Nations is 
quite idle. Firft, Women generally do 
little, who are the half of Mankind 5 
2nd if fome few Women are diligent, 



their HuCbands are idle : Then confider 
the great company of idle Priefts, and of 
thole that are called Religious Men 5 add 
to thefe all rich Men, chiefly thofe that 
have Eftates in Lands, who are called No- 
ble-men and Gentlemen, together with 
their Families, made up of idle Perfons, 
that do nothing but go (waggering about : 
Reckon in with the(e, all thofe ftrong and 
lufty Beggars, that go about pretending 
fome Difeafe, in excufe for their begging 5 
and upon the whole Account you will 
find, that the number of thofe by whole 
Labours Mankind is fupplied, is much lefi 
than you did perhaps imagine : Then con- 
fider how few of thofe that work, are 
imployed in Labours that Men do really 
need : for we who meafiire all things by 
Mony, give occafions to many Trades 
that are both vain and fuperfluous, and 
that ferve only to fupport Riot and Luxu- 
ry. Forjf thofe who are at Work, were 
imploy'd only in fuch things as the conve- 
niences of Life require, there would be 
fuch an abundance of them, and by that 
means the prices of them would fo fink, 
that Tradefmen could not be maintained 
by their Gains , if all thofe who labour 
about ufelefs Things, were fet to more 


84 Sir Thomas M ore'i 

profitable Trades 3 and if all that number 
that languifhes out their Life in floth and 
idlenefi, of whom every one confumes a.s 
much as any two of the Men that are at 
work do, were forced to labour, you 
may eafily imagine that a fmall proporti- 
on of time would ferve for doing all that 
is either neceffary, profitable, or pleafant 
to Mankind, pleafure being ftill kept 
within its due bounds : Which appears 
very plainly in Utopia^ for there, in a 
great City, and in all the Territory that 
lies round it, you can fcarce find five 
hundred, either Men or Women, that by 
their Age and Strength, are capable of 
Labour , that are not engaged in it 5 
even the Syphogrants themfelves, tho the 
Law excufes them, yet do not excufe 
themftlves, that (b by their Examples they 
may excite the induftry of the reft of the 
People 5 the like exemption is allowed to 
thofe, who being recommended to the 
People by the Priefts, are by the fecret 
Suffrages of the Sjfhogratits^ priviledged 
from Labour, that they may apply them- 
felves wholly to ftudy 5 and if any of 
theft falls (hort of thofe Hopes that he 
feemed- to give at firft, he is obliged to go 
to work. And foraetimes a Mechanick, 


■-^ ~T • 


that does fo imploy his leafure hours, that 
he makes a confiderable advancement in 
Learning, is eafed from being a Tradef- 
man, and ranked among their Learned 
Men, Out of thefe they chufe their Am- 
bafladors, their Priefts, their Tranibors^ 
and the Prince himfelf 5 who was ancient- 
ly called their Barzems^ but is called of 
late their Ademus. 

And thus from the great numbers a- 
mong them, that are neither fufFered to 
be idle, nor to be imployed in any fruit- 
lefs Labour 5 you may eafily make the 
eftimate, how much good Work may be 
done in thofe few hours in which they are 
obliged to labour. But befides all that 
has been already faid, this is to be confix 
dered, that thofe needful Arts which are 
among them, are managed with lefs 
labour than any where elfe. The build- 
ing, or the repairing of Houfes among 
us, employs many hands, becaufe often a 
thriftle(s Heir fuffers a Houle that his Fa- 
ther built, to fall into decay, fo that his 
Succeffor muft, at a great coft, repair 
that which he might have kept up with a 
fmall charge: and often it fells out, that 
the feme Houfe which one built at a vaft 
expence, is negleded by another, that 


8 6 Sir Thomas More'j 

thinks he has a more delicate fenfe of fuch 
things 5 and he fuffering it to fall to ruin, 
builds another at no lefi charge. But 
amongxhc Z}topians^ all things are (b re- 
gulated, that Men do very feldom build 
upon any new piece of Ground, and 
they are not only very quick in repairing 
their Houfes, but (hew their forefight in 
preventing their decay : So that their 
Buildings are preferved very long, with 
very little labour : And thus the Crafts- 
men to whom that care belongs, are often 
without any Imploiment, except it be the 
hewing of Timber, and the (quaring of 
Stones, that fo the Materials may be in 
readinefi for raifing a Building very fud- 
denl}^, when there is any occafion for it. 
As for their Clothes, obferve how little 
work goes for them : While they are at 
labour, they are cloathed with Leather 
and Skins, caft carelefly about them,which 
will laft feven Years ^ and when they ap- 
pear in publick, they put on an upper 
GarmentjWhich hides the other : and thefe 
are all of one colour, and that is the na- 
tural colour of the Wool : and as they 
need lefs Woollen Cloth than is ufed any 
where elfe, fo that which they do need, 
is much left coftly. They u(e Linnen 



Cloth more 5 but that is prepared with 
lefs labour, and they value Gloth only by 
the whitenefs of the LinneHjOr the cleao- 
nefi of the Wool, without much regard 
to the finenefs of the Thread 5 and where- 
as in other places, four or five upper Gar- 
ments of Woollen Cloth, and'of diffe- 
rent Colours, and as many Vefts of Silk 
will fcarce ferve one Man 5 and thofe that 
are nicer, think ten too few 3 every Man 
.there is contented with one which very 
oft (erves him two Years. Nor is there 
any thing that can tempt a Man to de- 
lire more 5 for if he had them, he woald 
neither be the warmer, nor would he 
make one jot the better appearance for it. 
And thus fince they are all imploied m 
fome ufefa! Labour ^ and fince they con- 
tent themielves with fewer things, it &}Is 
cut that there is a great abundance of all 
things among them: So that often, for 
want of other Work, if there is any 
need of mending their High Ways at any 
time, you will (ee marvellous numbers of 
people brought out to work at them 5 
and wheQ there is no occafion of any p^b- 
lick work, the hours cf working are 
leffened by publick Proclamation 3 for the 
Magiftf ates do not engage the people 


$ 8 Sir Thomas MoreV 

into any needlefs Labour, fince by their 
conftitution they aim chiefly at this, that 
except in fo far as pubhck ntceffity re- 
quires it, all the people may have as much 
free time for themfelves as may be neceflfa- 
ry for the improvement of their minds, 
for in this they think the happinelsof Life 

Of their Traffick, 

BUT it is now time to explain to you 
the mutual Intercourfe of this Peo- 
ple, their Commerce, and the Rules by 
which all things are diftributed among 
them. As thefr Cities are com poled of 
Families, ^o their Families are made up of 
thofe that are nearly related to one ano- 
ther. Their Women, when they grow 
up, are married out 5 but all the Males, 
both Children and Grandchildren, live 
ftill in the fame Hou(e, in great obedience 
to their common Parent, unlefs Age has 
weakned his Underftanding 5 and in that 
cafe he that is next to him in Age, comes 
in his room. But left any City (hould 
become either out of meafure great, or 
fall under a difpeopling by any accident, 
provifion is made that none of their Ci- 

U T O P I A, 8 $^ 

ties may have above fix thoufand Families 
in it, befides thofe of the Country round 
it 5 and that no Family may have lefs than 
ten, and more than fixteen Perlbns in it 5 
but there can be no determined number 
for the Children under Age : And this 
Rule is eafily obferved, by removing (bme 
of the Children of a more fruitful Cou- 
ple, to any other Family that does not 
abound fo much in them. By the fame 
Rule, they fupply Cities that do not en- 
creafe fo faft, by others that breed fafter : 
And if there is any encreafe over the 
whole Ifland, then they draw out a num- 
ber of their Citizens out of the (everal 
Towns,and (end them over to the Neigh- 
bouring Continent ^ where, if they find 
that the Inhabitants have more Soil than 
they can well cultivate, they fix a Colony, 
taking in the Inhabitants to their Society, 
if they will live with theiiHand where they 
do that of their own accord^ they quick- 
ly go into their method of Life, and to 
their Rules, and this proves a happineis 
to both the Nations : for according to 
their conftitution, fuch care is taken of 
the Soil, that it becomes fruitful enough 
for both, tho it might be otherwife too 
narrow and barren for any one of then:'. 

H Bat 

5>o Sir Thomas More'5 

But if the Natives refufe to conform 
themfelves to their Laws, they drive them 
out of thofe Bounds which they mark out 
for themfelves, and ufe force if they re- 
fift. For they account it a very juft caufe 
of War, if any Nation will hinder others 
to come and poffefi a part of their Soil, 
of which they make no ufe, but let it lie 
idle and uncultivated 5 fince every Man 
has by the Law of Nature a right to fuch 
a wafte Portion of the Earth, as is necef- 
fary for his fubfiftence. If any Accident 
has fo leffened the number of the Inhabi- 
tants of any of their Towns, that it can- 
not be made up from the other Towns of 
the Ifland, without diminilhing them too 
much, which is faid to have fallen out 
but twice, fince they were firft a People, 
by two Plagues that were among them , 
then the number is filled up, by recalling 
fo many out of their Colonies : for they 
will abandon their Colonies, rather than 
(uflfer any of their Towns to fink too 

But to return to the manner of their 
living together 5 the Ancienteft of every 
Family governs it, as has been (aid. Wives 
ferve their Hufbands, and Children their 
Parents, and always the Younger ferves 


UTOPI A. 91 

the Elder. Every City is divided into 
four equal Parts, and in the middle of 
every part there is a Market-place : that 
which is brought thither manufaftured by 
the (everal Families, is carried from thence 
to Houfes appointed for that purpofe, in 
which all things of a fort are laid by them- 
felves5 and every Father of a Family 
goes thither, and takes whatfoever he or 
his Family ftand in need of, without ei- 
ther paying for it, or laying in any thing 
in pawn or exchange for it. There is no 
reafon for denying any thing to any Per- 
fon, fince there is fuch plenty of every 
thing among them : and there is no 
danger of any Man*s asking more than he 
needs 5 for what (hould make any do 
that, fince they are all fure that they will 
be always fupplied ? It is the fear of want 
that makes any of the whole Race of A- 
nimals, either greedy or ravenous 5 but 
befides Fear, there is in Man a vaft Pride, 
that makes him fancy it a particular Glory 
for him to excel others in Pomp and Ex- 
cefe. But by the Laws of the Dtofians^ 
there is no room for thefe things among 
them. Near thefe Markets there are alfo 
others for all forts of Viftuals, where 
there are not only Herbs, Fruits, and 

H 2 Bread, 

91 Sir Thomas More'5 

Bread, but alfo Fifti, Fowl, and Cattel. 
There are alfo without their Towns, pla- 
ces appointed near (bme running Water, 
for killing their Beafts, and for wafhing 
away their filth 5 which is done by their 
Slaves, for they fufFer none of their Ci- 
tizens to kill their Cattel, becaufe they 
think, that Pity and good Nature, which 
are among the beft of thofe Affeftions 
that are born with U5, are much impaired 
by the butchering of Animals : Nor do 
they fufFer any thing that is foul or un- 
clean to be brought within their Towns, 
left the Air fhould be infeded by ill (mells 
which might prejudice their Health. la 
every Street there arc great Halls that lie 
at an equal diftance from one another, 
which are marked by particular Names. 
Tht S^phogrant J dwell in thefe, that are 
fet over thirty Families, fifteen lying on 
one fide of it, and as many on the other. 
In thefe they do all meet and eat. The 
Stewards of every one of them come to 
the Market-place at an appointed hour ^ 
and according to the number of thole 
that belong to their Hall, they carry 
home Provifions. But they take more 
care of their Sick, than of any others, 
who are looked after and lodged in public 

Hofpitals : 


Hofpitals : They have belonging to every 
Town four Hofpitals, that are built with- 
out their Walls, and are fo large, that 
they may pafi for little Towns : By this 
means, if they had ever ftch a number 
of fick Perfons, they could lodg them 
conveniently, and at fuch a diftance, that 
fuch of them as are lick of infeftious Dif- 
€afo, may be kept (b far from the reft, 
that there can be no danger of Contagi- 
on. The Hofpitals are fo furnifhed and 
ftored with all things that are convenient 
for the eafc and recovery of their Sick 5 
and thofe that are put in them, are all 
looked after with fo tender and watchful 
a care, and are fo conftantly treated by 
their skilful Phyficians^ that as none is fent 
to them againft their will,fo there is Icarce 
one in a whole Town, that if he (hould 
fill ill, would not chufe rather to go thi- 
thither, than lie fick at home. 

After the Steward of the Hofpitals has 
taken for them whatfoever the Phyfician 
does prcfcribe at the Market-place, then 
the beft things that remain, are diftributed 
equally among the Halls, in proportion 
to their numbers, only, in the firft place, 
they ferve the Prince, the chief Pritft, 
the Tranibors and Ambaffadors, and Stran- 

H 3 mh 

94 ^i^ Thomas More'^ 

gers, ( if there are any, which indeed falls 
out but feldom , and for whom there are 
Houfes well furniftied, particularly ap- 
pointed when they come among them ). 
At the hours of Dinner and Supper, the 
whole Syphogranty being called together 
by (bund of Trumpet, meets and eats to- 
gether, except only (uch as are in the Ho- 
fpitals, or lie fick at home. Yet after the 
Halls are (erved, no Man is hindred to 
carry Provifions home from the Market- 
place ^ for they know that none does that 
but for (bme good reafon 3 for tho any 
that will may eat at home, yet none does 
it willingly, fince it is both an indecent 
and foolifti thing, for any to give them- 
fclves the trouble to make ready an ill 
Dinner at home, when there is a much 
more plentiful one made ready for him (b 
near hand. All the uneafy and fordid Ser- 
vices about thefe Halls, are performed by 
their Slaves 5 but the dreffing and cook- 
ing their Meat, and the ordering their 
Tables, belongs only to the Women 5 
which goes round all the Women of every 
Family bv turns. They fit at three or 
more Tables, according to their numbers 5 
the Men fit towards the Wall, and the 
Women fit on the other fide, ^hat if any 



of them (hould fall fuddenly ill, which is 
ordinary to Women with Child, (he may, 
without difturbing the reft, rife and go 
to the Nurfes Room, who are there with 
the fuckling Children 5 where there is al- 
ways Fire, and clean Water at hand, and 
fome Cradles in which they may lay the 
young Children, if there is occafion for 
it, and that they may fhift and drefi them 
before the Fire, Every Child is nurfed 
by its own ly^ther, if Death or Sicknefi 
does not intWiene ^ and in that cafe the 
Syphograf7ts Wives find out a Nurfe quick- 
ly, which is no hard matter to do 3 for 
any one that can do it,ofFers her felf chear- 
fully : for as they are much inclined to 
that piece of Mercy, (b the Child whom 
they nurfe, confiders the Nurfe as its 
Mother. All the Children under five Years 
old, fit among the Nurfes, the reft of the 
younger fort of both Sexes, till they are 
fit for Marriage, do either ferve thofe that 
fit at Table 5 or if they are not ftrong e- 
nough for that, they ftand by them in 
great iilence, and eat that which is given 
them, by thofe that fit at Tables nor 
have they any other formality of dining. 
In the middle of the firft Table, which 
ftands iq the upper end of the Hall, a- 

H 4 crofs 

9 ^ Sir Thomas More'i 

crofs it fits the Syphogrant and his Wife, 
for that is the chief and mod confpicuous 
place : Next to him fit two of the moft 
ancient, for there go always four to a 
Mefi. If there is a Temple within that 
Syphogranty, the Prieft and his Wife fit 
with the Syphograttt above all the reft ; 
Next them there is a mixture of Old and 
Young, who are fo placed, that as the 
Young are fet near others, fo they are 
mixed with the more Ancient^ which they 
f^y was appointed on this fpbount, that 
the gravity of the old People, and the 
reverence that is due to them, might re- 
llrain the Younger from all indecent 
Words and Geftures. Difhes are not fer- 
vcd up to the whole Table at firft, but 
the beft are firft fet before the Ancienter, 
whofe Seats are diftinguiftied from the 
Younger, and after them all the reft are 
fcrvcd alike. The old Men diftribute to 
the younger any curious Meats that hap- 
pen to be fet before them, if there is not 
fuch an abundance of them that the whole 
Company may be ferved by them. 

Thus old Men are honoured with a 
particular refpcft 5 yet all the reft fare a^ 
well as they do. They brgin both Din- 
ner and Supper with fume Lefture of 



Morality that is read to them 5 but it is (b 
(hort, that it is not tedious nor uneafy to 
them to hear it : Upon that the old Men 
take occafion to entertain thofe about 
them, with fome ufeful and pleafant En- 
largements ^ but they do not engrofs the 
whole Dilcourfe (b to themfelves, during 
their Meals, that the younger may not 
put in for a (hare : On the contrary, they 
engage them to talk, that fo they may in 
that free way of Converfation, find out 
the force of every one's Spirit, and ob- 
(erve their Temper. They difpatch their 
Dinners quickly, but fit long at Supper 5 
becaufe they go to work after the one, 
and are to fleep after the other, during 
which they think the Stomach carries on 
the Concodion more vigoroufly. They 
never Sup without Mufick 5 and there is 
always Fruit ferved up after Meat ^ while 
they fit at Meat, fome burn Perfumes, and 
fprinkle about fweet Ointments,and fweet 
Waters : And they are wanting in nothing 
that may chear up their Spirits, for they 
give themfelves a large allowance that 
way, and indulge themfelves in all fuch 
Pleafures as are attended with no Inconve- 
nience. Thus do thofe that are in the 
Towns live together 3 but in the Coun- 


9 8 Sir Thomas M ore'5 

trey, where they live at^a greater diftance, 
everyone eats at home, and no Family 
wants any neceffary fort of Provifion, 
for it is from them that Provifions are 
' fcnt unto thofe that live in the Towns. 

Of the Travelliffg of the Utopians, 

IF any of them has a mind to vifit his 
Friends that live in fome other Town, 
or defires to travel and fee the reft of the 
Country, he obtains leave very cafily from 
the Sjphegrant and Tranihors to do it, when 
there is no particular occafion for him at 
home : fuch as travel, carry with them a 
Paffport from th^ Prince, which both 
certifies the Licence that is granted for tra- 
velling, and limits the Time of their return. 
They are furniQied with a Wagon and a 
Slave, who drives the Oxen, and looks 
after them : but unlefs there are Women 
in the G)mpany, the Wagon is fent back 
at the end of the Journey as a needlefi 
trouble; While they are on the Road, 
they carry no Provifions with them , yet 
they want nothing, but are every way 
treated as if they were at home. If they 
flay in any place longer then a Night, 
every one follows his proper Occupation, 




and is very well ufed by thofe of his 
own Trade : but if any Man goes out 
of the City to which he belongs, with- 
out leave, and is found going about with- 
out a Pafsport, he is roughly handled, and 
is puniftied as a Fugitive, and lent home 
difgracefully ^ and if he fills again into the 
like Fault, he is condemned to flavery. 
If any Man has a mind to travel only over 
the Precind of his own City, he may free- 
ly do it, obtaining his Father's Pcrmiffi- 
on, and his Wives Content 5 but when 
he comes into any of the Countrey- 
houfes, he muft labour with them accord- 
ing to their Rules, if he expefts to be 
entertaind by them : and if he does this, 
he may freely go over the whole Precinft, 
being thus as ufeful to the City to which 
he belongs, as if he were ftill within it. 
Thus you fee that there are no idle Per- 
fons among them, nor pretences of excu- 
fing any from Labour. There are no 
Taverns, no Alehoufes, nor Stews among 
them 5 nor any other occafions of corrup- 
ting themftlves, or of getting into Cor- 
ners, or forming themfelves into Parties : 
All Men live in full view, fo that all are 
obliged, both to perform their ordinary 
Task, and to employ themfelves well in 


I oo Sir Thomas More'j 

their fpare hours. And it is certain, that 
a People thus ordered, muft live in great 
abundance of all things 5 and thefe being 
equally diftributed among them, no Man 
can want any thing, or be put to beg. 

In their great Council at J/^aurot^ to 
which there are three fent from every 
Town once every Year, they examine 
what Towns abound in Provifions, and 
what are under any Scarcity, that fo the 
one may be furnilhed from the other 5 
and this is done freely, without any fort 
of exchange ^ for according to their Plen- 
ty or Scarcity, they fupply, or are fup- 
plied from one another , fo that indeed 
the whole Ifland is, as it were, one 
Family. When they have thus taken 
care of their whole Country, and laid up 
{lores for two Years, which they do in 
cafe that an ill Year ftiould happen to 
come, then they order an Exportation of 
the Overplus, both of Corn , Honey, 
Wool, Flax, Wood, Scarlet, and Purple 5 
Wax, Tallow, Leather, and Cattel, which 
they fend out commonly in great quanti- 
ties to other Countries. They order a 
feventh partof alhhefe Goods to be freely 
given to the Poor of the Countries to 
which they feqd them, and they (ell the 

UTOPIA. 101 

reft at moderate Rates. And by this 
exchange, they not only bring back tbo(e 
few things that they need at home, for 
indeed they (carce need any thing but Iron, 
but likewife a great deal of Gold and 
Silver, and by their driving this trade fo 
long, it is not to be imagined how vaft 
a Treafure* they have got among them : 
fo that now they do not much care whetJier 
they fell off their Merchandize for Mony 
in hand, or upon truft. A great part of 
their Treafure is now in Bonds , but in 
all their Contradis no private Man ftands 
bound, but the Writing runs in Name 
of the Town , and the Towns that owe 
them Mony, raife it from thofe private 
hands that owe it to them, and lay it up in 
their publick Chamber, or enjoy the pro- 
fit of it till the Dtopians call for it 5 and 
they chufe rather to let the greateft part of 
it lie in their hands, who make advantage 
by it, then to call for it themfelves : but 
if they fee that any of their other Neigh- 
bours ftand more in need of it, then they 
raife it, and lend it to them 5 or ufe it 
themfelves, if they are engaged in a War^ 
which is the only occafion that they can 
have for all that Treafure that they have 
laid up 5 that (b either in great Extre- 

1 01 Sir Thomas MoreV 

mities, or fiidden Accidents, they may 
ferve themfelves by it 5 cheifly for hiring 
Foreign Souldiers, whom they more wil- 
lingly expofe to danger than their own 
People: They give them great Pay, 
knowing well that this will work even 
on their Enemies, and engage them either 
to betray their own fide, or at leaft to 
defert it, or will fet them on to mutual 
Fadions among themfelves : for this end 
they have an incredible Treafure^ but 
they do not keep it as a Treafure, but in 
fuch a manner as I am almoft afFraid to tell 
it, left you think it (b extravagant, that 
you can hardly believe it 5 which I 
have the more reafon to apprehend from 
others, becaufe if I had not fcen it my 
felf, I could not have been eafily per- 
fwaded to have beleived it upon any Man s 

It is certain, that all things appear Co 
far incredible to us, as they differ from 
our own Cuftoms: but one who can judg 
aright, will not wonder to find, that 
fince their other Conftitutions differ fo 
much from ours, their value of Gold and 
Silver ftiould be meafured, not by our 
Standard, but by one that is very dif- 
ferent from it s for fince they have no ufe 


UTOPIA. 10} 

of Mony among themfelves, but keep it 
for an accident 5 that tho^as it may poffi- 
biy fell out, it may have great intervals $ 
they value it no further than it deferves, 
or may be ufeful to them. So that it is 
plain, that they muft prefer Iron either 
to Gold or Silver : for Men can no more 
live without Iron, than without Fire or 
Water 5 but Nature has markt out no u(e 
for the other Metals, with which we may;/ 
not very well difpence. The folly of 
Man has enhanfed the value of Gold 
and Silver, becaufe of their fcarcity : 
whereas on the contrary they reafon, that 
Nature, as an indulgent Parent, has 
given us all the beft things very freely, 
and in great abundance, fuch as arc 
Water and Earth, but has laid up and 
hid from us the things that are vain and 

If thofe Metals were laid up in any 
Tower among them, it would give jea- 
loufy of the Prince and Senate, according 
to that foolifli miftruft into which the 
Rabble is apt to fall,as if they intended to 
cheat the People, and make advantages to 
themfelves by it 3 orif theytfliould work it 
into Veflels, or any fort of Plate, they 
fear that the People might grow too fond 


1 04 Sir Thomas Motes 

of it, and (b be unwilling to let the Plate 
be run down, if a War made it neceffary 
to pay their Souldiers with it : Therefore 
to prevent all the(^ inconveniences, they 
have fallen upon an expedient, which as 
it agrees with their other Policy, fo is 
very different from ours, and will fcarce 
gain belief among us, who value Gold (b 
much, and lay it up fo carefully; for 
whereas they eat and drink out of Veffels 
of Earth, or Glafe, that tho they look 
very prety, yet are of very flight Ma- 
terials 5 they make their Chamber-pots 
and Clofe-ftools of Gold and Silver 3 and 
that not only in their publick Halls, but 
in their private Houfcs : Of the fime Met- 
tals they likewife make Chains and Fetters 
for their Slaves $ and as a Badge of Infa- 
my, they hang an Ear-ring of Gold to 
fome, and make others wear a Chain or a' 
Coronet of Gold 5 and thus they take care, 
by all manner of ways, that Gold and 
Silver may be of no efteem among them 5 
And from hence it ij, that whereas other 
Nations part with their Gold and their Sil- 
ver, as unwillingly as if one tore out 
their Bowels, thofe of Dtopia would look 
on their giving in all their Gold or Silver, 
whca there were any ufe for it, but as 



tJife parting with a Trifle, or as we would 
dlimate the lofi of a Penny. They find 
Pearls on their Coaft^ and Diamonds, 
and Carbuncles on their Rocks : they do 
not look after them, but if they find them 
by chance, they polifti them, and with 
them they adorn their Children, who 
are delighted with them, and glory in 
them during their Childhood 5 but when 
they grow to Years, and (ee that none 
but Children ufc luch Baubles, they of 
their own accord, without being bid by 
their Parents, lay them afide ^ and would 
be as much a(hamed to ufe them after- 
wards, as Children among us, when they 
eome to Years, are of their Nuts, Pup- 
pets, and other Toies. 
*<^> I never (aw a clearer Inftance of the 
different imprcffions that different Cu- 
ftoms make on People, than I obferved in 
the Ambafiadors of the Ammolians who 
came to Amaurot when I was there : and 
becaufe they came to treat of Affairs of 
great Confequence, the Deputies from the 
feveral Towns had met to wait for their 
coming. The Ambaffadours of the Nati- 
ons that lie near Utopia^ knowing their 
Cuftoms, and that fine Cloaths are in no 
efteem among them 3 that Silk is defpifed, 

I and 

o6 Sir Thomas More'i 

and Gold is a Badg of Infamy, ufe to come 
very modeftly cloathcd 5 but the Anemoli- 
ans that lay more remote, and fo had little 
commerce with them, when they under- 
ftood that they were courfly cloathed,and 
all in the fame manner, they took it for 
granted that they had none of thole fine 
Things among them of which they made 
CO ufe 5 and they being a vain-glorious, 
rather than a wife People, relblved to fet 
themfelves out with fo much pomp, that 
they (hould look like Gods, and lb ftrike 
the Eyes of the poor Utopans with their 
fplendor. Thus three AmbafTadors made 
their entry with an hundred Attendants, 
that were all clad in Garments of different 
colours, and the greater part in Silk 5 
the Ambafladors themlelves, who were of 
the Nobility of their Country, were in 
Cloth of Gold, and adorned with mafly 
Chains, Ear-rings and Rings of Gold : 
Their Caps were covered with Bracelets 
Icrt full of Pearls and other Gems : In a 
word, they were fet out with all thole 
things,that among the Utopans were either 
the Badges of Slavery, the Marks of In- 
famy, orChildrens Rattels. It was not 
unplealant to fee on the one fide how 
they lookt big, when they compared their 


UTOPIA. 1 107 

rich Habits with the plain Cloaths of the 
Z)topians^ who were come out in great 
numbers to fee them make their Entry t 
And on the other fide, to obferve ho»,? 
much they were miflaken in the Impreffi- 
on which they hoped this Pomp would 
have made on them : It appeared fo ridi- 
culous a {hew to all that had never ftirred 
out of their Country, and fo had not feen 
the Cuftoms of other Nations 5 that tho 
they paid fome reverence to tho(e thac 
were the mofc meanly clad, as if they had 
been the AmbafTadors, yet when they fiw 
the Ambaffadors themlclves, (o full of 
Gold Chains, they looking upon them as 
Slaves, made them no reverence at alL 
You might have feen their Children, who 
were grown up to that bigneS, that they 
had thrown away their Jewels, call to 
their Mothers, and pu(h them gently, and 
cry our. See that great Fool that wears 
Pearls and Gems, as if he were yet a 
Child. And their Mothers anfwered them 
in good earneft. Hold your Peace, this is^ 
I believe, one of the Ambaffador's Fool^. 
Others cenfuted the faChion of their. 
Chains, and obferved that they were of 
noufe, for they were too flight to bind 
their Slaves^ who could eafily brieak thern| 

io8 Sir Thomas More*^ 

and they faw them hang fo loofe about 
them, that they reckoned they could eafi- 
ly throw them away,and fo get from them. 
But after the Ambaffadors had ftaid a day 
among them, and faw fo vaft a quantity 
of Gold in their Houles, which was as 
much defpifed by them, as it was efteemed 
in other Nations, and that there was more 
Gold and Silver in the Chains and Fetters 
of one Slave, than all their Ornaments 
amounted to, their Plumes fell, and they 
were afliamed of all that Glory for which 
they had formerly valued themfelves, and 
fo laid it afide : to which they were the 
more determined, when upon their en- 
gaging into fome free Difcourfe with the 
Tjtofiafjs^ they difcovered their (en(e of 
fuch things, and their other Cuftoms. 
The ZJtofianj wonder how any Man 
Ihould befo much taken with the glaring 
doubtful luftre of a Jewel or Stone, that 
can look up to a Star, or to the Sun him- 
fclf 5 or how any (hould value himfelf, 
becaufe his Cloth is made of a finer 
Thread : for how fine foever that Thread 
may be, it was once no better than the 
Fleece of a Sheep, and that Sheep was a 
Sheep ftill for all its wearing it. They 
wonder much to hear, that Gold which 


UTOPIA. 109 

it felf is fo ufelefi a thing, (hould be eve- 
ry where (b much efteemed, that even 
Men for whom it was made, and by whom 
it has its value, (hould yet be thought of 
lefi value than it is : So that a Man of 
Lead, who has no more fence than a Log 
of Wood, and is as bad as he is foolifb, 
Ihould have many wife and good Men 
ferving him, only becaufe he has a great 
heap of that Metal ^ and if it (hould fo 
happen, that by fome Accident, or Trick 
of Law, ( which does (bmetimes produce 
as great Changes as Chance it felf) all 
this Wealth (hould pais from the Mafter 
to the meaneft Varlet of his whole Fami- 
ly, he himfelf would very Coon become 
one of his Servants, as if he were a thing 
that belonged to his Wealth, and fo were 
bound to follow its Fortune. But they 
do much more admire and deteft their 
folly, who when they fee a rich Man, tho 
they neither owe him any thing, nor are 
in any fort obnoxious to him, yet meerly 
becaufe he is rich, they give him little le(s 
than Divine Honours 3 even tho they 
know him to be (b covetous and ba(e 
minded, that notwithftanding all his 
Wealth, he will not part with one Far- 
thing of it to them as long as he lives. 

13 Thefe 

1 10 Sir Thomas MoreV 

Thefe and fuch like Notions has that 
People drunk in, partly from their Edu- 
cation, being bred in a Country, whofe 
Cufioms and ConCntutions are very oppo- 
fite to all fiich foolifli Maxims: and partly 
from their Learning and Studies 3 for the 
there are but few in any Town that are 
exxufed from Labour, (o that they may 
give themfelves wholly to their Studies, 
rhe(c being only fuch Perfbns as difcover 
from their Childhood an extraordinary 
capacity and difpofition for Letters, yet 
I heir Children, and a great part of the 
Nation, both Men and Women,are taught 
to fpend thofe hours in which they are 
not obliged to work, in Reading: and 
xhis they do their whole Life long. They 
have all their Learning in their own 
Toncfue 5 which is both a copious and 
pleafmt Language, and in which a Man. 
can fully exprefs his Mind ; It runs over a 
great Trad of many Countries, but it is 
not equally pure in all places : They had 
never fo much as heard of the Names of 
any of tho(e Philofophers that are Co fa- 
mous in thefe parts of fhe World, be- 
fore we went among them : and yet 
rhcy had made the fame Difcoveries that 
the Greeks had done, both in Mufick, Lo- 


UTOPIA. 5,1 

gick, Arithmetick, and Geometry. But 
as they are equal to the Ancient Philofo- 
phers almofl: in all things, fb they far ex- 
ceed our Modern Logicians, for they 
have never yet fallen upon the barbarous 
Nicities that our Youth are forced to leara 
in thofe trifling Logical Schools that are 
among us 5 and they are (b far from 
minding Chimera's, and Fantaftical Ima- 
ges made in the Mind, that none of them 
could comprehend what we meant, wheq 
we talked to them of a Man in the Ab- 
ftraft^ as common to all Men in particu- 
lar, ((bthat tho we (poke of him as a 
thing that we could point at with our 
Fingers, yet none of them could perceive 
him ) and yet diftinft from every one, as 
if he were fome raonftrous Coloffus or 
Giant. Yet for all this ignorance of 
thefe empty Notions, they knew Aftro- 
nomy, and all the Motions of the Orbs 
exaftly 5 and they have many Inftru- 
ments, well contrived and divided, by 
which they do very accurately compute 
the Courfe and Pofitions of the Sun, 
Moon, and Stars. But for the Cheat, of 
divining by the Stars, and by their Oppo- 
(itions or Conjundions, it has not fo 
much as entred into their Thoughts. They 

1 1 1 Sir Thomas }Ames 

have a particular fagacity, founded on 
much Obfervation, of fudging of the 
Weather, by which they know when they 
may look for Rain, Wind, or other Alte- 
rations in the Air : But as to the Philofp- 
phy of thofe things, and the caufts of the 
faltnefi of the Sea, and of its Ebbing and 
Flowing, and of the Original and Na- 
ture both of the Heavens and the Earth 5 
they difpute of them, partly, as our An- 
cient Philofophers have done 5 and, part- 
ly, upon fome new Hypothefis, in which, 
as they differ from them, fo they do not 
in all things agree among themfelves. 

As for moral Philofophy, they have 
the lame Difputes among them, that we 
have here : They examine what things are 
properly good, both for the Body, and 
the Mind ; And whether any outward 
thing can be called truly good^ or if that 
term belongs only to the Endowments of 
the Mind. They enquire likewi(e into the 
Nature of Vertue and Plealure 3 but their 
chief difpute is, concerning the happinefs 
of a Man, and wherein it confifts? whe- 
ther in fome one thing, or in a great ma- 
ny ? They feem indeed more inclineable 
to that Opinion that places, if not the 
whole, yet the chief part of a Man's 


UTOPIA. 115 

Happinefi, inPleafure, and which may 
fceiD more ftrange, they make ufe of Ar- 
guments even from Religion, notwith- 
ftanding its feverity and roughneG, for the 
fupport of that Opinion, that is fo in- 
dulgent to Pleafure : for they never di- 
spute concerning happinefs, without fetch- 
ing (bme Arguments from the pfeiciples 
ef Religion, as well as from natural Rea- 
fon 5 fince without the former, they 
reckon that all our enquiries after Hap- 
pinefs, muft be but conjeftural and defe- 

Thofe Principles of their Religion, 
are, that the Soul of Man is immortal, 
and that God of his Goodnefs has dc- 
figned that it (hould be happy 5 and that 
he has therefore appointed Rewards for • 
good and vertuous Aftions, and punilh- 
ments for Vice, to be diftributed after 
this Life; And tho thefe Principles of 
Religion are conveyed down among them 
by Tradition, they think, that even Rea- 
fon it (elf determines a Man to believe 
and acknowledg them : and they freely 
confefi, that if thefe were taken away, 
no Man would be fo infenfible, as not to 
feek after Pleafure by all manner of 
ways, lawful or unlawful $ ufing only 


1 1 J Sir Thomas Morc'^ 

this caution, that a leffer Pleafiire might 
not ftand in the way of a greater, and 
that no pleafure ought to be purfued, that 
Ihould draw a great deal of pain after it : 
for they think it the maddeft thing in the 
World to purfue Vertue, that is a four 
and di&uk thing 5 and not only to re- 
nounceVf^.e pleafures of Life, but willing- 
ly to undergo much pain and trouble, if 
a Man has no profpeft of a Reward. And 
what Reward can there be, for one that 
has pafled his whole Life, not only with- 
out pleafure, but in pain, if there is no- 
thing to be expedted after death? Yet they 
do not place Happinefs in all forts of Plea- 
fures, but only in thofe that in themfelves 
are good and honeft : for whereas there 
is a Party among them that places Happi- 
nefi in bare Vertue, others think that our 
Natures are conduced by Vertue to Hap- 
pinefi, as that which is the chief Good of 
Man. They define Vertue thus, that it is 
a living according to Nature 5 and think 
that we are made by God for that end : 
They do believe that a Man does then 
follow the Diftates of Nature, when he 
purfaes or avoids things according to the 
direaion of Reafon : they fay, that the 
firft diftate of Reafon is, the kindling in 


UTOPIA. ,14 

us a love and reverence for the Divine 
Majefty, to whom we owe both all that 
we have, and all that we can ever hope 
for. In the next place, Reafon direfts 
us, to keep our Minds as free of Paffion, 
and as chearful as we can 3 and that we 
fhould confider our felves as bound by the 
ties of good Nature -and Humanity, to 
ufe our utmoft endeavours to help forward 
the Happinefs of all other Perfons 5 for 
there was never any Man that was fuch a 
morofe and fevere purfiier of Venue, and 
fuch an Enemy to Pleafure, that thohe fee 
hard Rules to Men to undergo,much pain, 
many watchings, and other rigors, yet 
did not at the fame time advife them to 
do all they could in order to the relieving 
and eafing fuch People as were miferable 5 
and did not reprefent it as a mark of a 
laudable temper, that it was gentle and 
good natured: And they infer from 
thence, that if a Man ought to advance 
the welfare and comfort of the reft of 
Mankind, there being no Vertue more 
proper and peculiar to our Nature, than 
to eafe the miferies of others, to free them 
from trouble & anxiety,in furniftiing them 
with the Comforts of Life, that confift in 
Pleafure 5 Nature does much more vigo- 


1 1 6 Sir Thomas More'^ 

roufly lead him to do all this for himfelH 
A Life of Pleafure, is either a real Evil , 
and in that cafe we ought not only, not 
to affift others in their purfuit of it, but 
on the contrary, to keep them from it all 
we can, as from that which is hurtful and 
deadly to them 5 or if it is a good thing, 
(b that we not only may, but ought to 
help others to it, Why then ought not a 
Man to begin with himfelf ? fince no Man 
can be more bound to look after the good 
of another, than after his own : for Na- 
ture cannot direft us to be good and kind 
to others, and yet at the fame time to be 
unmerciful and cruel to our felves. Thus 
as they define Vertue to be a living ac^ 
cording to Nature, fo they reckon that 
Nature fets all People on to ftek after 
Plcafure, as the end of all they do. They 
do alfo obferve, that in order to the fup- 
porting the Pleafures of Life, Nature in- 
clines us to enter into Society ^ for there 
is no Man fo much raifed above the reft of 
m3nkind,that he ftiould be the only Favorite 
of Nature, which on the contrary feems 
to have levelled all thofe together that be- 
long to the fame Species. Upon this they 
infer, that no Man ought to feek his own 
Conveniences fo eagerly, that thereby he 


UTOPIA. 117 

(hould prejudice others 3 and therefore 
they think, that not only all Agreements 
between private Perfbns ought to be ob- 
ferved 5 but likewife, that all thofe Laws 
ought to be kept, which either a good 
Prince has publiQied in due form, or to 
which a People, that is neither oppreffed 
with Tyranny, nor circumvented by 
Fraud, has confentcd, for diftributing 
thofe Conveniences of Life which afford 
us all our Pleafures. 

They think it is an evidence of true 
Wifdom, for a Man to purfue his own 
Advantages, as far as the Laws allow it. 
They account it 'Pkty^ to prefer the Pub- 
iick Good to one's Private Concerns 5 
but they think it unjuft, for a Man to 
feek for his own Pleafure, by fnatching 
another Man's Pleafures from him. And 
on the contrary, they think it a (ign of a 
gentle and good Soul, for a Man to di- 
fpence with his own Advantage for the 
good of others 5 and that by fo doing, a 
good Man finds as much pleafiire one way, 
as he parts with another 5 for as he may 
expeft the like from others when he may 
come to need it, foif that (hould fail him, 
yet the Senfe of a good Aftion, and the 
Reflexions that one makes on the Love 


1 1 9 Sir Thomas More'x 

and Gratitude of thofe whom he has (b 
obliged, gives the Mind more Pleafare^ 
than the Body could have found in that 
from which it had reftrained it felf : they 
are al(b perflvaded that God will make up 
the lofi of thofe fmall Pleafiires, with a 
vaft and endlefs Joy, of which Religion 
does eafily convince a good Soul. 

Thus upon an enquiry into the whole 
Matter, they reckon that all our Aftions, 
and even all our Vertues terminate in 
Pleafure, as in our chief End and greateft 
Happinefi ; and they call every Motion 
or State, either of Body or Mind, in 
which Nature teaches us to delight, a 
Pleafure. And thus they cautioufly limit 
Pleafure, only to thofe Appetites to which 
Nature leads us^ for they reckon that 
Nature leads us only to thofe Delights to 
which Reafon as well as Senfe carries us, 
and by which we neither injure any other- 
Perfon, nor let go greater Pleafures for 
it 5 and which do not draw troubles on 
us after them : but they look upon thofe 
Delights which Men, by a foolilh tho 
common Miftake, call Pkajkre, as if 
they could change the Nature of Things, 
as well as the u(e of Words, as things that 
Bot only do not advance our Happtnefi^ 


UTOPIA. ,ii8 

but do rather obftruft it very much, be- 
caufe they do fo entirely poffels the Minds 
of thofe that once go into them, with a 
falfe Notion of Pleafure, that there is no 
room left for truer and purer Plea- 

There are many things that in thenr- 
felves have nothing that is truly delight- 
ing : On the contrary, they have a good 
deal of bitternefs in them 5 and yet by 
our perverfe Appetites after forbidden 
Objefts, are not only ranked among the 
Pleafiires, but are made even the greateft 
Defigns of Life. Among thofe who pur- 
fue thefe fophifticated Pleafures, they 
reckon thofe whom I mentioned before, 
who think themftlves really the bet- 
ter for having fine Clothes , in which 
they think they are doubly miftaken, 
both in the Opinion that they have of 
their Clothes , and in the Opinion 
that they have of themfelves 3 for if 
you confider the ule of Clothes, why 
Ihould a fine Thread be thought better 
than a courfe one ? And yet that fort of 
Men, as if they had fome real Advantages 
beyond others, and did not oWe it wholly 
to their Miftakes, look big, and feera to 
fancy themfelves to be the more valuable 


120 Sir Thomas Mores 

on that account, and imagine that a re- 
fpeft is due to them for the fake of a rich 
Garment, to which they would not have 
pretended, if they had been more mean- 
ly cloathed 5 and they refent it as m Af- 
front, if that refpeft is not paid them. It 
is alfo a great foUy to be taken with thefe 
outward Marks of Refpea, which fig- 
nify nothing : For what true or real Plea- 
(iire can one find in this, that another 
Man ftands bare, or makes Legs to 
him ? Will the bending another Man's 
Thighs give yours an eafe ? And will 
his Head's being bare, cure the mad- 
nefs of yours ? And yet it is wonderful to 
fee how this falfe Notion of Pleafure be- 
witches many, who delight themfclves 
with the fancy of their Nobility, and are 
pleafed with this Conceit, that they are 
defcended from Anceftors, who have been 
held for fome Succdiions rich, and that 
they have had great Poflfeffions 5 for this 
is all that makes Nobility at prefent 5 yet 
they do not think themfelves a whit the 
le(s noble, tho their immediate Parents 
have left none of this Wealth to them 5 
or tho they themfelves have Iquandred it 
all away. The Viopans have no better 
Opinion of thofe, who are much taken 



with Gems and Ptecious Stones, and who 
account it a degree of Happinefi, next to 
a Divine one, if they can purchaie one 
that is very extraordinary ^ efpecially if 
it be of that fort of Stones^ that is then 
in greateft requeft 5 for the fame fort is 
not at all times of the fame value with all 
Ibrts of People ^ nor will Men buy it^' 
unlefs it be difmounted and taken out of 
the Gold : And then the Jeweller is made 
to give good Securityjand required (blemn- 
ly to fwear that the Stone is true, that by 
fuch an exaft Caution, a falfe one may not 
be bought inftead of a true: Whereas if 
you were to examine it, your Eye could 
find no difFetence between that which is 
counterfeit, and that whkh is true 3 Co 
that they are all one to you ns much as if 
you were blind : And can it be thought 
that they who' heap up an ufelefs Mais of 
Wealth, not for any ufe that it is to bring 
them, but meerly to pleafe themfelves 
with the contemplation of ir, enjoy any 
true Pleafure in it ? The Delight they 
find, is only a falfe (hadow of Joy : thofe 
are no better, whofe Error is (bmewhat x 
different from the fcVmer, and who hide it, 
out of their liar oF lofing- it 3 for what 
fether Name can fit .the hidingit in the 

I Z X Sir Thomas More'j 

Earth, or rather the reftoring it to it 
again, it being thus cut off from being 
ufeful, either to its Owner, or to the reft 
of Mankind } and yet the Owner having 
hid it carefully, is glad, becaufe he thinks 
he is now fure of it. And in cafe one 
(hould come to fteal it, the Owner, tho 
he might live perhaps ten Years after that, 
would all that while after the Theft, of 
which he knew nothing, find no diffe- 
rence between his having it,or lofing it,for 
both ways it was equally ufelefs to him. 

Among thofe fooliOi purfuers of Plea- 
fure, they reckon all thofe that delight in 
Hunting, or Birding, or Gaming: Of 
whole madnefi they have only heard, for 
they have no fuch things among them : 
but they have asked us 5 What fort of 
Pleafure is it that Men can find in throw- 
ing the Dice ? for if there were any plea-* 
fure in it, they think the doing it fo often 
(hould give one a Surfeit of it : And what 
pleafure can one find in hearing the bark- 
ing and howling of Dogs, which feem 
rather odious than pleafant founds? Nor 
can they comprehend the pleafure of fee- 
ing Dogs run after a Hare, more than of 
feeing one Dog run after another 5 for you 
have the fame entertainment to the Eye 



on both thefe Occafions$ if the feeing 
them run is that which gives the pleafure, 
fince that is the fame in both cafes : but if 
the Pleafure Hes in (eeing the Hare killed 
and torn by the Dogs, this ought rather 
toftirpity, when a weak, harmlefs, and 
ftarful Hup, is devoured by a ftrong^ 
fierce, ana cruel Dog. Therefore all this 
bttfitiefs of hunting, is among the ZJtopi- 
'ans turned over to their Butchers 5 and 
thofe are all Slaves, as was formerly faid s 
3tnd they look on Hunting, as one of the 
ba:feft parts of a Butcher's work: for they 
Account it both tnore profitable, and 
iiiore decent to killthofe Beaftsthat arfe 
^ihote neceflary and ufeful to Mankind $ 
whereas the killing and tejiring of fo 
fmall and miferablean Animal, which a 
Huiltfinan propofes tohimfelf, can only 
attnad him with the falfe (hew of Plea- 
(iire5 for it is of little ufe to him: they 
Idok on the defire of the Bloodfhed^even 
of Beafts, as a mark of a Mind that is al^ 
teady Corrupted with cruelty^ or that at 
leaft by the frequent returns of fo brutal 
a pleafure, muft degenerate into it. 

Thus tho the Rabble of Mankind looks 
tiponthele^ and all other things of this 
kindj which are indeed innumerable, 

K a as 

1 24 Sir Thomas M ore 5 

as Pleafures 5 the TJtofians on the contrary 
obferving, that there is nothing in the 
nature of them that is truly pleafint, 
conclude that they are not to be reckoned 
among Pleafures : for tho thefe things 
may create fome tickling in the Senfes, 
( which feems to be a true. Notion of 
Pleafure) yet they reckon ^tliat this does 
. not arife from the thing it (elf, but from a 
•depraved Cuftom, which may fo vitiate a 
Man's tafte, that bitter things may pafi 
.forfweet^ as Women with Child think 
Pitch or Tallow tafte fweeter than Honys 
;but as a Man s Senfe when corrupted, ei- 
ther by a Difeafe, or fome ill Habit, does 
not change the nature of other things, (b 
neither can it change the nature of Plea- 
lure. ; : ; 

They reckon up (everal (brts of thefe 
Pleafures, which they call true Ones : 
Some belong to the Body, and others to 
the Mind. The Pleafures of the Mind lie 
in Knowledg, and in that delight which 
the contemplation of Truth carries with 
it ^ to which they add the joyful Re- 
fleftions on a well-fpent Life, and the; 
aff red hopes of a future Happinefi. They 
divide the Pleafures of the Body into two 
forts 3 the one is that which gives our 

^ Senfet 

UTOPIA. 115 

Senfes (bme real delight, and is performed, 
either by the recruiting of Nature, and 
(upplying thofe parts on which the inter- 
nal heat of Life feeds 5 and that is done 
by eating or drinking : Or when Nature 
is ealed of any furcharge that oppreffes it, 
as when we empty our Guts, beget Chil- 
dren, or free any of the parts of our Bo- 
dy from Aches or Heats by friftion. 
There is another kind of this fort of 
Pleafure, that neither gives us any thing 
that our Bodies require, nor frees us from 
any thing with which we are overchar- 
ged 5 and yet it excites our Senfes by a 
(ecret unfeen Vertue, and by a generous 
Imprellion, .it (b tickles and afFefts them, 
that it turns them inwardly upon ihem- 
felves s and this is the Pleafure begot by 
Mufick. Another fort of bodily Pleafure 
is, that which confifts in a quiet and good 
conftitution of Body, by which there is 
an entire healthinefs fpread over all the 
parts of the Body, not allayed with any 
Difeafe. This, when it is free from all 
mixture of pain, gives an inward pleafure 
of it felf, even tho it fhould not be ex° 
cited by any external and delighting Ob- 
jeft, and althothis Pleafure does not fq 
V^oroufjy afFefl: the Senfe, nor aft fo 
f K 3 ftrongly 

1 6 Sir Thomas More's 

ftrpngly upon it 5 yet as it is the greateft 
of all Pleafures, fo almoft all the ZJiopi- 
ans reckon it the Foundation and BaGs of 
all the other Joys of Life 5 fince this a- 
lone makes one's ftate of Life to be eafy 
and defirable ^ and when this is warning, 
a Man is really capable of no other Plea- 
fure. They look upon indolence and free- 
dom from Pain, if it does not rife from a 
perfed: Health, to be a ftate of Stupidity 
rather than of Pleafure. There has been 
a Controverfy in this Matter very narrow- 
ly canvaffed among them 5 Whether a 
firm and entire Health could be called ^ 
Pleafure, or not? Some have thought 
that there was no Pleafure, but that which 
was excited by fome fenfible Motion in the 
Body. But this Opinion has been long 
ago run down among them, fo that now 
they do almoft all agree in this, That 
Health is the greateft of all bodily Plca- 
fures 3 and that as there is a Pain in Sick- 
nefs, which is as oppofite in its nature to 
Pleafure, as Sicknefi it felf is to Health, 
(b they hold that Health carries a Pleafure 
along with it : And if any ftiould fiy, 
that Sickne(s is not really a Pain, but that 
it only carries a Pain along with it, they 
look upon that 33 a fetch of fubtihy, that 



does not much alter the Matter. So they ^ 
think it is all one, whether it be (aid, that 
Health is in it felf a Pleafure, or that it 
begets a Pleafure, as Fire gives Heat $ fo 
it be granted, that all thole whofe Health 
is entire, have a true pleafure in it : And 
they reafon thus, What is the Pleafure of 
eating, but that a Man s Health which had 
been weakned, does, with the affiftance 
of Food, drive away Hunger, and fo re- 
cruiting it felf] recovers its former Vigour ? 
And being thus refrefh'd, it finds a plea- 
fure in that Conflift : and if the Conflid: 
is Pleafure, the Viftory muft yet breed a 
greater Pleafure, except we will fancy 
that it becomes ftupid as (bon as it hats 
obtained that which it purfued, and fo 
does neither know nor rejoice in its own 
welfare. If it is (aid, that Health cannot 
be felt, they abfolutely deny that, for 
what Man is in Health, that does not per- 
ceive it when he is awake ? Is there any 
Man that is fo dull and (tupid, as not to 
acknowledg that he feels a delight in 
Health } And what is Delight, but ano- 
ther name for Pleafure ? 

But of all Pleafures, theyefte^m tho(e 
to be the moft valuable that lie in the 
Mind. 5 and the chief of ihefe, are thofe 

K 4 th^t 

1 1 8 Sir Thomas More'5 

» f r,. 
.1 ■- ■*, 

that arife out of true Vertue, and the 
witncfs of a good Confcience ; They ac- 
count Health the chief PIea(ur€ that bjp- 
Iqrrj^ to the Body , for they think thlat the 
pkafure of eating and drinking, and all 
the other delights of the Body, are only 
fo f^v defirable, as they give or maintain 
I health : but they are not pleafant in them- 
selves, othervv^ife than as they refift thof^ 
trnpreffions tfiat our natural Infirmity is 
i\\\\ making upon us : And as a wife Man 
dclires rather to avoid Dife^(es, than to 
rake Phyfick 3 and to be freed from pain, 
rather than to find eafe by Remedies : fo| 
it were a mofe dtfirable ftate, not to need 
this ibrt of Pleafure, than to be 'obliged 
toindulge it : And if any Man imagines 
that there is a' real Happinefi in this Plea- 
tiire, he muft then confcfs that he u'ould 
be the happieft of a!l Men, if he v^ere to 
lead his life in a perpetual hunger, thirft, 
and itching, and by confequehce in per- 
petual eating, drinking, and fcratching 
himftrlf," which any one may eafily fee 
would be not only a bafc, but a miferable 
ft.we of Life. Thcfe are indeed the low- 
tit of Pleafures, and the leaft pure : for 
we can never rehfh them, but when they 
arc mixed with the contrary pains. The 
' pairi 

UTOPIA. j2^ 

pain of Hunger, muft give us the pleafure 
of Eating 5 and here the Pain outballan- 
ces the Pleafure : and as the Pain is more 
vehement,(b it lafts much longer 5 for as it 
is upon us before the Pleafure comes, fo it 
does not ceafe, but with the Pleafure that 
extinguifties it, and that goes off with it; 
So that they think none of thofe PJea- 
fures are to be valued, but as they are ne- 
ceflary. Yet they rejoice in them, and 
with due gratitude acknowledg the ten- 
dernefs of the great Author of Nature, 
who has planted in us Appetites, by which 
thofe things th^t are neceffary for our pre- 
fervation,are likewife made pleafant to us. 
For how miferable a thing would Life be, 
if thofe daily Difeafes of Hunger and 
Thirft, were to be carried off by fuch 
bitter Drugs, as we muft ufe for thofe 
Ptleafes that return feldomer upon us> 
?nd thus thefe pleafant, as well as proper 
Gifts of Nature, do maintain the ftrength 
and the fprightlinefs of our Bodies. 

They do alfo entertain themfelves with 
the other Delights that they let in at their 
Eyes, their Ears, and their Noftrils as the 
plcalant idiihcs and fcafonings of Life 
which Nature feeras to have marked out 


I ^ o Sir Thomas M ovts 

peculiarly for Man : fince no other fort 
of Animals contemplates the Figure and 
Beauty of the Univerfe 5 nor is delighted 
with fmells, but as they diftinguifti Meats 
by them 5 nor do they apprehend the 
Concords or Difcords of Sounds 5 yet in 
all Plea(ures whatfoever, they obferve this 
temper, that a leffer Joy may not hinder 
a greater, and that Pleafure may never 
breed Pain, which they think does al- 
ways follow difhoneft Pleafures. But they 
think it a madnefs for a Man to wear out 
the Beauty of his Face, or the force of his 
nararal Strength, and to corrupt the 
fprightlinefs of his Body by floth and 
hzinefs, or to waft his Body by fafting, 
and fo to weaken the ftrength of his Con- 
iVitution, and reject the other delights of 
Life ^ unlefs by renouncing his own fatif- 
fiSion, he can either ferve the Publick, or 
promote the happinefs of others, for 
which he expefts a greater Recompence 
from God. So that they look on fuch a 
courft of Life, as a mark of a Mind, that 
is both cruel to it felf, and ingrateful to 
the Author of Nature, as if we would not 
be beholden to him for his Favors, and 
therefore would reject all his Bleffings and 


UTOPIA. iji 

fbould affliS himlelf for the empty (hadow 
of Vertue 5 or for no better end, than to 
render himfelf capable to bear thofc MiC- 
fortunes which poffibly will never hap- 

This is their Notion of Vertue and of 
Pleafure 5 they think that no Man's Rea- 
fon can carry him to a truer Idea of them, 
unlels fome difcovery from Heaven ftiould 
infpire one with fublimer Notions. I 
have not now the leafure to examine all 
this, whither they think right or wrong in 
this Matter : nor do I judg it neceflary, 
for I have only undertaken to give you 
an account of their Conftitution, but not 
to defend every thing that is among them. 
I am lure, that whatfoever may be (aid 
of their Notions, there is not in the whole 
World, either a better People, or a hap- 
pier Government : Their Bodies are vi- 
gorous and lively ^ and tho they are but 
of a middle ftature, and tho they have 
neither the fruitfulkft Soil, nor the pureft 
Air in the World : yet they do fo fortify 
themfelves by their temperate courfe of 
Life, againft the unhealthinefi of their 
Air 5 and by their induftry they do fo 
fiultivate their Soil, that there is no where 


\l% Sir Thomas More'J^ 

to be feen a greater encreafe, both of 
Corn and Cattel, nor are there any 
where healthier Men to be found, and 
freer from Difeafes than among them ; for 
one may fee therejnot only fuch things put 
in praftice, that Hufbandmen do com- 
monly for manuring and improving an ill 
Soil, but in fome places a whole Wood is 
plucked up by the Roots, as well as whole 
ones planted in other places, where there 
were formerly none : In doing of this the 
cheif confideration they have is of carri- 
age, that their Timber may be either 
near their Towns, or lie upon the Sea, or 
fonae Rivers, fo that it may be floated to 
them 3 for it is a harder work to carry 
Wood at any diftance over Land, then 
Corn. The Peole are indultrious, apt to 
learn, as well as chearful and piealant 5 
and none can endure more labour, when 
it is neceffary, than they 5 but except in 
that cafe they love their eafc. They are 
unwearied purfuers of knowledg 5 for 
when we had given them fome hints of the 
Learning and Difcipline of the Greeks^ 
concerning whom we only inftrufted 
thetn, (for we know that there was no- 
thing among the Romans^ except their 


UTOPIA. ij5 

Hiftorians and their Poets, that they would 
value much ) it was ftrange to fee how ea- 
gerly they were fet on learning that Lad« 
guage : We began to read a little of it to 
them, rather in compliance with their 
importunity,than out of any hopes of their 
profic|pg much by it; But after a -very 
fliort trial, we found they made fuch a 
progrefs in it, that we faW our labodr 
was like to be more fuccelsful than we 
could have expeded. They learned to 
write their Charafters, and to prononnde 
their Language fo right, and took up all 
To quick, they remembered it fo faitlt- 
fully, and became fo ready and correct in 
•the ufe of itjthat it would have look 'd like 
a Miracle, if the greater part of thofe 
whom we taught had not been Men, both 
of extraordinay Capacity, and of a fit Age 
for it: They were for the greateft pak 
chofen out among their learned Men, by 
their cheif Council^ tho fome learn'd it of 
their own accord. In three Years time 
they became Mailers of the whole Lan- 
guage, fo that they read the bell: of the 
.Gree/{^ Authors very exaftly. I am in- 
deed apt to think, that they leariled 
.that Language the more eafily, becaufe it 


1 54 5^^ Thomas More'i 

feems to be of kin to their own : I believe 
that they were a Colony of the Greeks 5 
for tho their Language comes nearer the 
Ferjian^ yet they retain many Names, both 
for their Towns and Magi ftrates, that are 
of Greek Origination. I had happened to 
carry a great many Books with me^ftead 
of Merchandift, when I failed my fourth 
Voyage 5 for I was lb far from thinking of 
coming back foon, that I rather thought 
never to have returned at all, and I gave 
them all my Books, among which many of 
Plato s and fome of ArJjlotJes works were. 
I had alfo Theophrajius of the Plants, which 
to my great regret, was imperfeft 5 for 
having laid it carelefsly by, while we 
were at Sea, a Monkey had fallen upon it 
and had torn out leaves in many placed* 
They have no Books of Grammar, but 
La/cares^ for I did not carry TheodorUi 
with me 5 nor have they any Diftionaries 
but Heftchiuf and Diofcorides. They e- 
fteem Plutarch highly, and were much 
taken with Lncians Wit, and with his 
plealant way of writing. As for the Po- 
ets, they have ^rifiofhanes^ Horner^ Eh' 
ripides^ and Sophocles of Nidus's Edition ^ 
and for Hiftoriaas, they have Tkucidydes^ 


UTOPIA. 135 

Herodottfs and Herodian, One of my 
Companions, Thrkius ^/^/^^^^Kf, happened 
to carry with him (bme of Hipfocrates^ 
.Works, and Galen s Mkrotechne^ which 
they hold in great eftimation 5 for tho 
there is no Nation in the World, that 
needs Phyfick fo little as they do, yet 
there is not any that honours it fo much 2 
They reckon the knowledg of it to be one 
of the plealanteft and profitableft parts of 
Philofophy, by which, as they fearch 
into the Secrets of Nature, fo they x\o% 
only find marvellous pleafure in it, but 
think that in making fuch enquiries, they 
do a moft acceptable thing to the Author 
of Nature ^ and imagine that he, as all 
Inventera of curious Engines, has expofed 
to our view this great Machine of the Uni- 
ver(e, we being the only Creatures capa- 
ble of cgntemplating it : and that there* 
fore an exaft and curious Obferver and 
Admirer of his WorkmanQiip, is much 
more acceptable to him, than one of the 
Herd 5 who as if he were a Beaft, and 
not capable of Reafon, looks on ^1 this 
glc^ious Scene, only as a dull and uncon- 
cerned Speftsitor. 


1 3 <5 Sir Thomas Moire'j 

The Minds of the Utopians^ when they 
are once excited by Learning, are very 
ingenious in finding out all fuch Arts as 
tend to the conveniences of Life. Two 
things they owe to us, which are the Art 
of Printing,and the Manufafture of Pa- 
per : yet they do not owe thefc fo en-^ 
tirely to us, but that a great part of the 
invention was their own v for after vve 
had (hewed them fome Paper-books of 
iiWiKf's Impreffion, and began to explain 
to thi!m the way of making Paper, and 
of printing, tho we fpake but very crude- 
ly of both the(e, not being prafti(ed in 
either of them, they prefently took up 
the whole matter from the hints that we 
gave them : and whereas before they only 
writ on Parchment, or on the Bafksof 
Trees, or Reeds 3 they have now fet u JT 
the Manufafture of Paper, and Pririting- 
preffes: and tho at firft they could no^ 
arrive at a perfeftion in them, yet by 
making many effays, they at taft found 
out, and correfted all their Errors, and 
brought the whole thing to perfediion 5 
fo that if they had but a good number of 
Greek Authors,, they would be quickly 
fapplied with many Copies of them : at 


UTOPIA. 137 

prefent $ tho they have no more than thofe 
I. have mentioned, yet by fevcral Impref- 
fions, they have multiplied them into ma- 
ny thoufands. If any Man fliould go 
among them, that had (bme extraordinary 
Talent, or that by much travelling had 
obfervedthe Cuftoms of many Nations, 
(which made us to be fo well received) 
he would be very welcome to them 5 for 
they are very defirous to know the ftate 
of the whole World. Very few go 
among them on the account of Traffick, 
for what can a Man carry to them but 
Iron, or Gold, or Silver, which Mer- 
chants defire rather to export, than im- 
port to any ftrange Country : and as for 
their Exportation, they think it better to 
manage that themielves, than to let For- 
raigners come and deal in it, for by this 
means, as they underftand the ftate of the 
neighbouring Countries better, fo they 
keep up the Art of Navigation, which 
cannot be maintained but by much pra- 
dife in it. 

t C^ 

1 J 8 Sir Thomas More'j 

Of their Slaves^ and of their ^Marriages, 

TH E Y do not make Slaves of Pri- 
foners of War, except thofe that 
are taken fighting againft them 5 nor 
of the Sons of their Slaves, nor of the 
Slaves of other Nations : the Slaves a- 
mong them, are only fuch as are con- 
demned to that ftate of Life for fome 
Crime that they had committed, or which 
is more common, (uch as their Merchants 
find condemned to die in thofe parts to 
which they trade, whom they redeem 
fometimes at low rates 5 and in other 
places they have them for nothing , and 
fo they fetch them away. All their Slaves 
are kept at perpetual labour, and are 
always chained,but with this difFerence,that 
they treat their own Natives much worfe, 
looking on them as a more profligate fort 
of People 5 who not being reftrained 
from Crimes, by the advantages of fo ex- 
cellent an Education, are judged worthy 
of harder ulage than others. Another 
fort of Slaves, is, when fome of the 
poorer fort in the neighbouring Coun- 
tries, offer of their own accord to come 
and fervethems they treat thefe better, 


UTOPIA. 439 

and u(e them in all other refptfts, as^ well 
as their own Country Men, except that 
they impofe more labour upon therHj . 
which is no hard task to them that have 
been accuftomed to it 5 and if any of 
thefe have a mind to go back to their 
own Country, which indeed falls out but 
feldom, as they do not force them to ftay, 
fo they do not fend them away empty 

I have already told you with what care 
they look after their Sick, fo that nothing 
is left undone that can contribute eiiheje 
to their Eafe or Health : and for thofe who 
are taken with fixed and incurable Dif^ 
eafes, they ufe all poffible ways to cherilh 
them, and to make their Lives as comfor- 
table as may be : they vifit ihem often, 
and take great pains to make their time 
pals oflF eafily : but when any is taken 
with a torturing and lingering pain, Co 
that there is no hope, either of recovery 
or eafe, the Priefts and Magiftrates come 
and exhort them, that fince they are now 
unable to go on with the bufinels of Life, 
and are become a burden to themfelves, 
and to all about them, fo that they have 
really out-lived themfelves, they would 
no longer nourilh fach a rooted Diftcm- 

140 Sir Thomas Mote'x 

per, but would chufe rather to die, fince 
they cannot live, but in much mife- 
ry : being affured, that if they either 
deliver themlelves from their Prifon 
and Torture, or are willing that others 
Ihould do it, they (hall be happy after 
their Deaths : And fince by their dying 
thus, they lofe none of the Pleafures, 
but only the Troubles of Life 5 they 
think they aft, not only reafonably in fo 
doing, but religioufly and piouUy^ be- 
caufe they follow the Advices that are gi- 
ven them by the Priefts, who are the Ex- 
pounders of the Will of God to them. 
Such as are wrought on by thefe Perfwa- 
fions, do either ftarve themfelves of their 
own accord,or they take OpiHrn^zviA fo they 
die without pain. But no Man is forced on 
this way of ending his Life 5 and if they 
cannot be perfwaded to it, they do not 
for that fail in their attendance and care 
of them : But a^ they believe that a vo- 
luntary Death, when it is chofen upon 
fuch an Authority, is very honourable 5 fo 
if any Man takes away his own Life, with- 
out the approbation of the Priefls and 
the Senate, they give him none of the 
Honours of a decent Funeral, but throve 
bis Body into fom^ Ditch. 


UTOPIA. 141 

Their Women are not married before 
eighteen, nor their Men before two and 
twenty 5 and if any of them run into for- 
bidden Embraces befojre their Marriage, 
they are feverely puniQied, and the privi- 
lege of Marriage is denied them, unlefi 
there is a fpccial Warrant obtained for it 
afterward from the Prince. Such Di(br- 
ders caft a great reproach upon the Mafter 
and Miftrefs of the Family in which they 
fall out 5 for it is fuppofed, that they have 
been wanting to their Duty. The reafon 
of puniftiing this fo feverely, is, becaufe 
they think that if they were not fo ftrift- 
ly reftrained from all vagrant Appetites, 
very few would engage in a married ftate, 
in which Men venture the quiet of their 
whole Life, being reftrifted to one Per- 
fon 5 befides many other Inconveniences 
that do accompany it. In the way of 
chufing of their Wives, they ufe a method 
that would appear to us very abfurd and 
ridiculous, but is conftantly obferved a- 
mong them, ^nd accounted a wife and 
good Rule. Before Marriage, fome grave 
Matron prefents the Bride naked, whether 
fhe is a Virgin or a Widow, to the Bride- 
groom 5 and after that, fome grave Man 
prefents the Bridegroom naked to the 

L 3 

14^ 'Si^ Thomas More'f 

Bride. We indeed both laughtd at this, 
and condemned it as a very indecent 
thing. But they, on the other hand, 
'Wondered at the folly of the Men of all 
other Nations ^ v ho if they are but to 
buy a Horfc of a fmall value, are fo cau- 
tious, that they will fee every part of him, 
and take ofF both his Sadie, and all his 
other Tackle, that there may be no fecret 
Ulcer hid under under any of them $ and 
that yet in the choice of a Wife, on which 
depends the happinefs or unhappinefs of 
the reft of his Life, a Man (hould ven- 
ture upon truff, and only fee about an 
handbreadthof the Face,all the reft of the 
Body being covered 5 under which there 
pay He hid that which may be contagious, 
as well as loathfome. All Men are not fo 
wife, that they chuft a Woman only for 
her good Qualities, and even wife Men 
confider the Body, as that which adds not 
a little to the Mind : And ir is certain, 
there may be (bme fuch deformity covered 
with ones Clothes, as may totally alienate 
a Man from his Wife, when it is too late 
t^o part with her : for if fuch a thing is 
difcovered after Marriage, a Man has no 
remedy but patience ; So they think it is 
reafonable, that there ftould be a good 


UTOPIA. 145 

provifion made againft fuch milchievous 

There was Co much the more reafon in 
making a regulation in this Matter, be- 
caufe they are the only People of thole 
parts that do neither allow of Polygamy, 
nor of Divorces, except in the cafes of 
Adultery, or infufFerable Perverfiiefi: 
for in thefe Cafes the Senate diffolves the 
Marriage, and grants the injured Perfbn 
leave to marry again 5 but the Guilty are 
made infamous, ;and are never allowed 
the privilege of a fecond Marriage. 
None are fufFered to put away their 
Wives againft their Wills, becaufe of any 
great Calamity that may have fallen on 
their Perfon 5 for they look on it as the 
height of Cruelty and Treachery to a- 
bandon either of the married Perfons, 
when they need moft the tender care of 
their Confort^ and that chiefly in the 
cafe of old Age, which as it carries many 
Difeafes along with it, fb it is a Difeafe of 
it felf But it falls often out, that when 
a married Couple do not agree well toge- 
ther, they by mutual confent feparate , 
and find out other Perfons with whom 
they hope they may live more happily : 
yet this is not done, without obtaining 

i- 4 Icayp 

f 44 Sir Thomas More'5 

leave of the Senate 3 which never admits 
of a Divorce, but upon a Rtidi enquiry 
made, both by the Senators and their 
Wives, into the Grounds upon which it 
proceeds ; and even when they are fa- 
tisfied concerning the Reafons of it, they 
go on but (lowly, for they reckon that 
too great eafinefs, in granting leave for 
new Marriages, would very much (hake 
the kindnefs of married Perfons. They pu- 
nifh feverely thofe that defile the Marriage- 
Bed : If both Parties are married,they are 
divorced, and the injured Perfons may 
marry one another, or whom they pleafe s 
but the Adulterer, and the Adulterefs are 
condemned to (lavery. Yet if either of 
the injured Perfons cannot (hake off the 
Love of the married Perfon, they may 
live with them (till in that (tate 5 but they 
inu(t follow them to that Labour to 
which the Slaves are condemned 5 and 
fometimes the Repentance of the con- 
demned Perfon, together with the un- 
ihaken kindnefs of the innocent and in- 
jured Perfon, has prevailed fo far with 
the Prince, that he has taken off the Sen- 
tence : But thofe that relapfe, after they 
are once pardoned, are puni{hed with 


UTOPIA. 145 

Their Law does not determine the Pu- 
niflament for other Crimes 5 but that is 
left to the Senate, to temper it according 
to the Circumftances of the Faft. Huf- 
bands have power to correfl: their Wives, 
and Parents to correft their Children, un- 
lefi the Fault is fo great, that a publick 
Punilhpent is thought neceflary for the 
ftriking terror into others. For the moft 
part, Slavery is the puniQiment even of 
the greateft Crimes , for as that is no lefs 
terrible to the Criminals themfelves than 
Death 5 fo they think the preserving them 
in a ftate of fervitude, is more for the In* 
tereft of the Common- Wealth, than the 
killing them outright 5 fince as their La- 
bour is a greater benefit to the Publick, 
than their Death could be 5 fo the fight of 
their Mifery is a more lafting terror to 
other Men, than that which would be 
given by their Death. If their Slaves re- 
bel, and will not bear their Yoke, and 
fubmit to the Labour that is enjoined 
them, they are treated as wild Beafts that 
cannot be kept in order, neither by a 
Prifon, nor by their Chains ^ 2fnd are at 
laft put to death. But thole who bear 
their Punilhment patiently, and are Co 
much wrought on by that preffure, that 


1 46 Sir Thomas More'y 

lies (b hard on them, that it appears they 
are really more troubled for the Crimes 
they have committed, than for the Mife- 
ries they fafier, are not out of hope, but 
that at lafl: either the Prince will, by his 
Prerogative, or the People will by their 
interceffion reftore them again to their 
liberty, or at leaft very much mitigate 
their flavery. He that tempts a married 
Woman to Adultery, is no lefi (everely 
puniQied, than he that commits it ^ for 
they reckon that a laid and ftudied Defign 
of committing any Crime, is equal to the 
Faft it felf 5 fince its not taking efFed: does 
not make the Perfon that did all that in 
him lay in order to it, a whit the lefi 

They take great pleafure in Fools, and 
as it is thought a bafe and unbecoming 
thing to ufe them ill, fo they do not 
think it amifi for People to divert them- 
lelvcs with their Folly : and they think 
this is a great advantage to the Fools 
them(elves : For if Men were fo fullen 
and fevere, as not at all to pleafe them- 
fclves with their ridiculous behaviour, 
and foolifh (ayings, which is all that they 
can do to recommend themfelves to o- 
thers, it could not be expedcd that they 


UTOPIA. 147 

would be fo well look*d to, nor (b ten- 
derly ufed as they muft otherwife be. If 
any Man ftiould reproach another for his 
being miftiaped or imperfeft in any part ^ 
of his Body^it would not at all be thought 
a refleftion on the Perfon that were fo 
treated, but it would be accounted a very 
unworthy thing for him that had upbraid- 
ed another with that which he could not 
help. It is thought a fign of a fluggifh 
and fordid Mind, not to preferve careful- 
ly one's natural Beauty 3 but it is like- 
wife an infamous thing among them to 
ufe Paint or Fard. And they all (ee that 
no Beauty recommends a Wife fo much to 
her Hufband, as the probity of her Life, 
and her Obedience : for as fome few are 
catched and held only by Beauty, fo all 
People are held by the other Excellencies 
which charm all the World. 

As they fright Men from committing 
Crimes by Puniftiments, fo they invite 
them to the love of Vertue, by publick 
Honours : therefore they ered Statues in 
honour to the memories of fuch worthy 
Men as have deferved well of their Coun- 
try, andfetthefein their Market-places, 
both to perpetuate the remembrance of 
their Actions, and to be an incitement 


148 Sir Thomas MoreV 

to their Pofterity to follow their ex- 

If any Man aipires to any Office, he is 
fure never to corapafs it : They live all 
eafily together, for none of the Magi- 
ftrates are either infolent or cruel to the 
People^ but they affeft rather to be cal- 
led Fathers^ and by being really fo, they 
well deferve that Name --, and the People 
pay them all the marks of Honour the 
more freely, becaufe none are exafted of 
them. The Prince himfelf has no di- 
ftinftion, either of Garments, or of a 
Crown 3 but is only known by a Sheaf 
of Corn that is carried before him, as the 
High Prieft is alfo known by a Wax Light 
that is carried before him. 

They have but few Laws, and fuch is 
their Conftitution, that they need not 
many. They do very much condemn 
other Nations, whofe Laws, together 
with the Commentaries on them, fwell 
up to fo many Volumes 5 for they think 
it an unreafonable thing to oblige Men to 
obey a Body of Laws, that are both of 
fach a bulk, and fo dark, that they can- 
not be read or underftood by every one 
of the Subjeds. 


UTOPIA. i49f 

They have no Lawyers among them, 
for they confider them as a fort of Peo- g|~|^ 
pie, whofe Profeffion it is to di%uife Mat- ^^ 
ters, as well as to wreft Laws 5 and there- 
fore they ^hink it is much better that eve- 
ry Man flidBld plead his own Caufe, and 
truft it to the Judg, as well as in other 
places the Client does it to a Counfellor. 
By this means they both cut off many de- 
lays, and find out Truth more certainly : 
for after the Parties have laid open the 
Merits of their Caufe, without thofe Ar- 
tifices which Lawyers are apt to fuggeft, 
the Judg examines the whole Matter, and 
fiipportsthe fimplicity of fiich well mean- 
ing Perfons, whom otherwife crafty Men 
would be (ure to run down : And thus 
they avoid thofe Evils, which appear very 
remarkably among all thofe Nations that 
labour under a vaft load of Laws. Eve- 
ry one of them is skilled in their Law, for 
as it is a very thort ftudy, fo the plain- 
neft meaning of which words are capa- 
ble, is always the fenfe of their Laws. 
j\nd they argue thus 5 All Law s a re pro- 
mufgate d for thls~end , t1 iat~every Man 
may know his L)uty ^j[n5jtherefore the 
"platnett and mou obvious fenfe oTlEe 
words^is thai w hich m ult be put on them's 


tyo S^V Thomas More '5 

fince a more refined Expofition cannot be 
eafily comprehended, and Laws become 
thereby ufelefs to the greater part of Man- 
kind, who need moft the direftion of 
them : for to them it is all one, not to 
make a Law at all, and to couch it in 
fuch tearms, that without a quick appre- 
henfion, and much ftudy, a Man cannot 
find out the true meaning of it 3 and the 
generality of Mankind are both fo dull, 
and fo much imployed in their feveral 
Trades, that they have neither the lei- 
fure nor the capacity requifite for fuch an 

Some of their Neighbours, who' are 
Mafters of their own Liberties, having 
long ago, by the afliftance of the Utopi- 
ans^ (haken off the Yoke of Tyranny 5 
and being much taken with thole Vertues 
that they obferve among them, have come 
to them, and defired that they would (end 
Magiftrates among them to govern them 3 
fome changing them every Year, and o- 
thers every five Years. At the end of 
their Government, they bring them back 
to Utopia^ with great expreffions of ho- 
nour and efteem, and carry away others 
to govern in their (lead. In this they 
fcem to have fallen upon a very good Ex- 

UTOPIA. 151 

pedient for their own happinels and (afe- 
ty : For fince the good or ill Condition 
of a Nation depends (b much upon their 
Magiftrates, they could not have made a 
better choice, than by pitching on Men 
whom no Advantages can biafi 5 for 
Wealth is of no ufc to them, fince they 
muft go (b foon back to their own Coun- 
try J and they being ftrangers among 
them, are not engaged in any of their 
Heats or Animofities : And it is certain, 
that when Publick Judicatories are fway- 
ed, either by partial AfFcftions, or by 
Avarice, there muft follow upon it a diP 
folution of all Juftice, which is the chief 
Sinew of Society. 

The Utopians call thofe Nations that 
come and ask Magiftrates from them. 
Neighbours 5 but they call thoie to whom 
they have been more particularly affifting. 
Friends, And whereas all other Nations 
are perpetually either making Leagues, or 
breaking them, they never enter into any 
Alliance with any other State. They think 
Leagues are ufelefs things, and reckon, 
that if the common Ties of Humane Na- 
ture do not knit Men together, the Faith 
of Promifes will have no great effeft on 
them : And they are the more confirmed 


152 Sir Thomas More'j 

in this, by that which they fee among the 
Nations round about them, who are no 
ftrict obfervcrs of Leagues and Treaties. 
We know how religioufly they are ob- 
ferved in Efirope-^ move particularly where 
the Chriftian Doftrine is received, among 
whom they are facred and inviolable. 
Which is partly owing to the Juftice and 
Goodntfi of the Princes themlelves, anrf 
partly to their Reverence that they pay 
to the Popes : who as they are moft reli- 
gious obfervers of their own Promifes, (b 
they exhort all other Princes to perform 
theirs ^ and when fainter Methods do not 
prevail, they compel them to it by the 
fevcrity of the Paftoral Cenfure 5 and 
think that it would be the mofk indecent 
thing pollible, if Men who are particu- 
larly defigned by the title of the Faithful, 
fhould not religioufly keep the Faith of 
their Treaties. But in that new found 
World, which is not more diftant from 
us in Scituation,than it is difagreeing from 
us in their Manners, and courfe of Life, 
there is no trufting to Leagues, even tho 
they were made with all the pomp of the 
moft Sacred Ceremonies that is poffible : 
On the contrary, they are the fooner bro- 
ken for that, fome flight Pretence being 


UTOPIA. 155 

found in the words of the Treatie?, which 
are contrived in fuch ambiguous Terais, 
and that on defign, that they can never. 
be fo ftriftly bound, but they will always 
find (bme Loop-hole to efcape at 5 and fa 
they break both their Leagues and their 
Faith; And this is done with that impu-" 
dence, that thofe very Men who value 
themfelves on having fuggefted thefe Ad- 
vices tp their Princes, would yet, with a 
haughty (corn , declainf againft fach' 
Craft, or to fpeak plainer, fuch Fraud 
and Deceit, if they found private Mert^ 
make ufe of it in their Bargains 3 and' 
would readily fay, that they delerved to' 
be hanged for it. . ^ 

; By this means it is, that all fort of Ju- 
flice paiTes in the World, but for a low-, 
fpirited and vulgar Vertue, which is faif 
below the dignity of Royal GreatneGv 
Or at leaft, there are two forts of Jufticc^ 
ftt up : the one is mean,and creeps on the 
(ground, ^nd therefore becomes none but 
tjie bafer fort of Men, and fo muft be 
kept in feverely by many reftraints^ that 
k may not break out beyond the Bounds' 
that are (et to it. The other is, the peculi- 
aiC Vertue of Princes, Avhich'as it ia mord 
itfajeftkk thati that which beeonies thd 

154 Sir Thomas More'i" 

Rabble, fo takes a freer compafs 5 and 
lawful or unlawful, are only m^afured by 
Pleafure and Intereft. Theie pradices a- 
mong the Princes that lie about TJtofia^ 
who make fo little account of their Faith, 
feem to be the Reafons that determine 
them to engage in no Confederacies : per- 
haps they would change their mind if they 
lived among us: but yet tho Treaties 
were more religioufly oblerved, they 
would ftill diflike the cuftom of making 
them 5 fince the World has taken up a 
falfe Maxim upon it, as if there were no 
tie of Nature knitting one Nation to 
another5that areonly feparated perhaps by 
a Mountain, or a River, and that all were 
born in a ftate of Hoftility, and fo might 
lawfully do all that mifchief to their 
Neighbours, againft which there is no 
provifion made by Treaties: And that 
when Treaties are made, they do not cut 
off the Enmity, or reftrain the Licenfe 
of preying upon one another, if by the 
unskilfulnefs of wording them, there are 
not effeftual Provijoj made againft them. 
They on the other hand judg, that no 
Man is to be efteemed our Enemy that has 
never injured us 5 and that the Partner- 
Ihip of the Humane Nature, that is 


UTOPIA> 155 

among all Men, is inftead of a League. 
And that kindnefi and good Nature unite 
Men more effeftually, and more forcibly 
than any Agreements whatfoever, fince 
thereby the Engagements of Mens Hearts 
become ftronger, than any thing can 
be to which a few words can bind them. 

Of their ^Military Difdpline, 

THey deteft War as a very brutal 
thing 3 and which, to the reproach 
of Humane Nature, is more praftifed by 
Men, than by any fort of Beafts ; and 
they, againft the cuftom of almoft all 
other Nations, think that there is nothing 
more ir^lorious than that Glory that is 
gained by War : And therefore tho they 
accuftom themfelves daily to Military Ex- 
ercifes, and the Difcipline of War, in 
Which not only their Men, but their Wo- 
men likewife, are trained up, that fo in 
cafes of Neceffity, they may not be quite 
ufelels : Yet they do not rafhly engage in 
War, unlefs it be either to defend them- 
felves, or their Friends, from any unjuft 
Aggreffors 5 or out of good Nature,or in 
compaffion to an oppreffed Nation, that 
they affift them to the (baking off theYoke 

Ma "of 

5 6 Sir Thomas More'5 

Tyranny. They indeed help their Friends, 
not only in Defenfive, but alfo in OfFen- 
five Wars : but they never do that, unlefi 
they had been confulted with while the 
Matter was yet entire 5 and that being (a- 
tisfied with the Grounds on which they 
went, they had found that all Demands 
of Reparation were rejefted, fo that a 
War was ncceflary : which they do not 
think to be only juft,when one Neighbour 
makes an inrode on another, by publick 
Order, and carries away their Spoils 3 but 
when the Merchants of one Country are 
oppreffed in another, either under the 
pretence of fome un)uft Laws, or by the 
perverfe wrefting of good ones : this they 
count a jufter caufe of War than the 
other, becaufe thofe Injuries are done un- 
der fome colour of Laws. This was the 
only Ground of that War, in which they 
engaged with the ^7s(jphelogetes againft the 
^teopoljtams^ a little before our time : for 
the Merchants of the former, having, as 
they thought, met with great injuftice 
among the latter, that, whether it was in 
it felf right or wrong, did draw on a 
terrible War, many of their Neighbours 
being engaged in it 5 and their keennefi in 
earryingit on, being fupported by their 


UTOPIA. 157 

ftrength in maintaining it ^ it not only 
(hook (bme very flourifning States, and 
very much afflifted others 5 but after a 
feries of much Mifchief^ it ended in the 
entire conqnelt and flavery of the Aleopo- 
litanes^ who tho before the War, they 
were in all relpefts much fuperior to the 
Nephelogetes^ yet by it they fell under their 
Empire 5 But the Utopians^ tho they had 
aflifted them in the Warjyet pretended to 
no (hare of the (poil. 

But tho they affift their Friends fo vi^ 
goroufly, in taking reparation for Inju- 
ries that are done them in fuch Matters 5 
yet if they themlelves (hould meet with 
any (uch fraud, provided there were no 
violence done to their Perfons, they 
would only carry it fo far, that unlefs fa- 
tisfaftion were made, they would give 
over trading with fuch a People. This is 
not done, becaufe they confider their 
Neighbours more than their own Citi- 
zens 5 but fince their Neighbours trade 
every one upon his own Stock, Fraud is 
a more fenfible injury to them, than it is 
to the Z)topia»Sj among whom the Pub- 
lick only fufFers in fuch a cafe : And lince 
they expeft nothing in return for the Mer- 
chandize thai they export , but ^bat in 

M, 3 which 

Sir Thomas More'^ 

which they abound fo much) and is of lit- 
tle u(e to them, the lofi does not much 
affeft them ^ therefore they think it would 
be too fevere a thing to revenge a Lofs 
that brings fo little inconvenience with it, 
either to their Life, or their livelihood, 
with the death of many People : but if 
any of their People is either killed or 
wounded wrongfully, whether that be 
done by Publick Authority, or only by 
private Men, as foon as they hear of it, 
they fend Ambaffadors, and demand, that 
the Guilty Perlbns may be delivered up 
to them 5 and if that is denied, they de- 
clare War '-, but if that is done,they con- 
demn thofe either to Death or Sla- 

, They would be both troubled and aflia- 
med of a bloodji Vi&ory over their Enemies 5 
and think it would be as foolifh a Pur-* 
chafe, as to buy the mod valuable Goods 
at too high a Rate. And in no Victory 
do they glory fo much, as in that which is 
gained by dexterity and good conduft, 
without Bloodftied. They appoint pub- 
lick Triumphs in fuch Cafes, and ereft 
Trophies to the honour of thofe who 
have fucceeded well in them ; for then 
do they reckon that a Man afts futably to 


UTOPIA. 159 

his Nature, when he conquers his Enemy 
in fuch a way, that no other Creature but 
a Man could be capable of it, and that is, 
by the ftrength of his Underftanding. 
Bears, Lions, Boars, Wolves, and Dogs, 
and other Animals, imploy their bodily 
Force one againft another, in which as 
many of them are fuperior to Man, both 
in ftrength and fiercenefs, fo they are all 
fubdued by the reafon and underftanding 
that is in him. 

The only Defign of the TJtoph^s in 
War, is to obtain that by Force, which if 
it had been granted them in time, would 
have prevented the War 3 or if that can- 
not be done, to take (b (evere a Revenge 
of thofe that have injured them, that they 
may be terrified from doing the like in 
all time conning. By thefe Ends they 
meafure all their Defigns, and manage 
them fb, that it is vifible that the Apper . 
tite of Fame or Vain-glory, does not 
work fo much on them, as a juft care of 
their own Security. 

As foon as they declare War, they take 
care to have a great many Schedules, that 
are (ealed with their Common Seal, affixed 
in the moft conlpicuous places of their 
Enemies Country. This is carried fecretly, 

M 4 and 

1 60 Sir Thomas More'5 

■'' and done in many places all at once, in 
thcfe they promife great Rewards to fuch 
ns (hall kill the.Prince, and leffer in pro- 
portion to fuch as (hall kill any other Per- 
ibns, who are thofe on whom, next to the 
Prince himfelfj they caft the chief blame 
of the War. And they double the Sum 
to hiT), that infteadoF killing the Perfon 
fp rnarked out, (hall take him alive, and 
fmi: him in their hands. They offer not 
only Indemnity, but Rewards, to fuch of 
the Perfcns themfelves that are Co marked, 
^r tiiey will aft againft their Country- 
men : By this means thofe th^t are naped 
in their Schedules, become not only di- 
ilruftful of their Fellow-Citizens, but are 
jealous of one another : and are much 
diftrafted by Fear and Danger 5 for it has 
^ften fallen otit^ that many of them, ancj 
even the Prince himfelf, have been be- 
traved by thbfe'in whom they have trufted 
moft : for the Rewards that the Utopians 
bffc^r, af-e fo unmeafurably great,that there 
is no fort of Crime to which Men cannot 
be drawn by them. They confider the 
llifque that thoft run, who undertake fuch 
Services, and offer a R.ecom pence propor- 
tioned to the danger 3 not only a vaft dea^ 
of Gold, but great Revenues in Land:^, 
• ^ ' \, ■ - "" ' that 

UTOPIA. i6i 

that lie among other Nations that are their 
Friends, where they may go and enjoy 
them very fecurely 5 and they obferve the 
Promifes they make of this kind moft re- 
ligioufly. They do very much approve 
of this way of corrupting their Enemies, 
tho it appears to others to be a bale and 
cruel thing 5 but they look on it as a 
wife courfe, to make an end of that which 
would be otherwife a great War, without 
fo much as hazarding one Battel to decide 
it. They think it likewife an Aft of Mer- 
cy and Love to Mankind, to prevent the 
great ilaughter of thofe that muft other- 
wife be killed in the progrefs of the War, 
both of their own fide, and of their Ene- 
mies, by the death of a few that are moft 
guilty 5 and that in fo doing, they are 
kind even to their Enemies, and pity 
1:hen) no le(s than their own People, as 
knowing that the greater part of them do 
not engage in the War of their own ac- 
cord, but are driven into it by the Paffi- 
ons of their Prince. 

If this Method does not fuccecd with 
therp, then they fow Seeds of Contention 
among their Enemies, and animate the 
Prince's Brother, or fome of the Nobility, 
tp afjpire to the Crowa. If they cannot 


1 6 1 Sir TKomas M ore'x 

«- ' — -^ — I » * 

difunite them by Domeftick Broils, then 
they engage their Neighbours againft 
them, and make them fet on foot Ibme 
old Pretenfions, which are never wanting 
to Princes, when they have occafion fop 
them. And they fupply them plentifully 
with Mony, tho but very fparingly with 
any Auxiliary Troops : for they are (b 
tender of their own People, that they 
would not willingly exchange one of 
them, even with the Prince of their Ene- 
mies Country. 

But as they keep their Gold and Silver 
only for fuch an occafion, fo when that 
offers it felf, they eafily part with it, fince 
it would be no inconvenience to them, 
tho they fbould reftrve nothing of it to 
themlelves. For befides the Wealth that 
th^y have among them at home, they have 
a vaft Treafure abroad ^ Many Nations 
i^^und about, them, being deep in their 
Debt : fo that they hire Souldiers from all 
Places for carrying on their Wars ^ bur 
chiefly from the Zapolets^ who lie five 
hundred miles from Utopia eaftward. 
They are a rude, wild, and fierce Nati- 
on, who delight in the Woods and 
Rocks, among which they were born and 
bred up. They are hardned both 


UTOPfA. 165 

againft Heat, Cold, and Labour, and 
know nothing of the delicacies of Life. 
They do not apply themfelves to Agri- 
culture, nor do they care either for their 
Houfes or their Clothes. Cattel is all 
that they look after 5 and for the greateft 
part, they live either by their Hunting, or 
upon Rapine :5 and are made, as it were, 
only for War. They watch all opportu- 
nities of engaging in it, and very readily 
embrace fuch as are offered them. Great 
numbers of them will often go out, and 
offer therafelves upon a very low Pay, to 
(erve any that will employ them : they 
know none of the Arts of Life, but thofe 
that lead to. the taking it away 5 they 
ferve thofe that hire them, both with 
much courage and great Fidelity 5 but 
will not engage to ierve for any deter- 
mind time, and agree upon fuch Terms, 
that the next day they may go over to 
the Enemies of thofe whom they ferve, 
if they offer them a greater pay : and 
they will perhaps return to them the day 
after that, upon a higher advance of their 
Pay. There are few Wars in which they 
make not a confiderable part of the Ar- 
mies of both fides : (6 it falls often out, 
that they that are of kin to one another, 


1 64 Sir Thomas MoreV 

and were hired in the fime Country, and 
(6 have lived long and familiarly together 5 
yet they forgetting both their Relation 
and forcner FrieildQiip, kill one another 
Vipon no other confideration, but becaufe 
they are hired to it for a little Mony, by 
Princes of different Interefts : and lb 
great regard have they to Mony, that they 
are e^fily wrought on by the difference of 
one Penny a Day, to change fides. So 
entirely does their Avarice turn them, 
and yet this Mony on which they are fo 
much fet, is of little ufe to them 5 for 
what they pu.rchafe thus with their Blood, 
they quickly wafte it on Luxury, which 
among them is but of a poor and mifera- 
ble form. 

This Nation ferves the Utopiam againft 
all People whatfoever, for they pay high- 
er than any other. The Utopians hold 
this for a Maxim, that as they feek out the 
bed (brt of Men for their own u(e at 
home, fo they make ufe of this worft fort 
of Men for the Confumption of War, and 
therefore they hire them with the offers 
of vaft Rewards, to expofe themfclves to 
all forts of hazards, out of which the 
greater part never returns to claim their 
l^rpmifes. Yet they make them good 



UTOPIA. i6f 

moft religioufly to fuch as efcape. And 
this animates them to adventure again, 
when there is occafion for it 3 for the 
Utopians are not at all troubled hOw ma- 
ny of them foever happen to be killed 5 
and reckon it a fervice done to Mankind, 
if they could be a mean to deliver the 
World from fuch a lend and vicfous fort 
of People, that feera to have run toge- 
ther, as to the Drain of Humane Nature. 
Next to thefe they are ferved in their 
Wars, with thofe upon whofe account 
they undertake them, and with the Auxi- 
liary Troops of theiE other Friends, to 
whom they join fome few of their owiTi 
People, and fend fome Man of eminent 
and approved Vertue to command in 
chief There are two fent with him, who 
during his Command, are but private 
Men, but the firft is to fucceed him if he 
(hould happen to be either killed or taf- 
ken 3 and in cafe of the like misfortune 
to him, the third comes in his place 5 and 
thus they provide againft ill Events, that 
jRich Accidents as may befal their Generals, 
may not endanger their Armies. When 
they draw out Troops of their own Peo- 
ple, they take foch out of every City as 
freely offer them (elves, for none are fo^r- 


,t 6 6 Sir T homas MoreV 

ced to go againft their Wills, fince they 
think that if any Man is preffed that 
wants.courage, he will not only a(3: faint- 
ly, but by his cowardife he will di(heart€n 
others. But if any InvaQon is made of 
their Country, they make ufe of fuch 
Men, if they have good Bodies, tho they 
are not brave 5 and either put them a- 
board their Ships, or place them on the 
Walls of their Towns, that being fo po- 
rted, they may not find occafions of fly- 
ing away^ and thus either fhame, the 
heat of aftion, or the impoffibility of fly- 
ing, bears down their Cowardife 3 and 
fo they make often a Vertue of Neceflity, 
and behave themfelves well, becaufe no- 
thing elfe is left them. But as they force no 
Man to go into any Forreign War againft 
his will, fo they do not hinder fuch Wo- 
men as are willing to go along with their 
Hufl^ands : On the contrary, they encou- 
rage and praife them much for doing it 5 
they ftand often next their Hulbands, in 
the front of the Army, They alfo place 
thofe that are related together, and Pa- 
rents, and Children, Kindred, and thofe 
that are mutually allied,near one another 5 
that thoft whom Nature has infpired with 
the greateft zeal of ailifting one another, 


UTOPIA. 167 

may be the neareft and readied: to do it ; 
and it is matter of great reproach, if Hus- 
band or Wife furvive one anothei;, or if 
a Child furvives his Parent, and therefore 
when they come to be engaged in a&ion, 
they continue to fight to the lafl: Man, if 
their Enemies (land before them : And as 
they ufe; all prudent Methods to avoid the 
endangering their own Men 3 and if it is 
poffible, let all the Aftion and Danger 
fall upon the Troops that they hire 5 fo if 
it comes to that, that they muft engage, 
they charge then with as much courage, as 
they avoided it before with prudence : nor 
is it a fierce Charge at firft,but it encreafes 
by degrees 3 and as they continue in Afti- 
on, they grow more obftinate, and prels 
harder upon the Enemy, infomuch that 
they will much fooner die than give 
ground 3 for the certainty in which they 
are, that their Children will be well look- 
ed after, when they are dead, frees them 
from all anxiety concerning them, which 
does often mafter Men of great courage 5 
and thus they are animated by a noble 
and invincible refolution. Their skill in 
Military Matters encreafes their Courage, 
and the good Opinions which are infufed 
in them during their Education^ accord- 

i 6 8 Sir Thomas More'j 

ing to the Laws of the Country, and 
their Learning, add more vigor to their 
Minds : for as they do not undervalue 
Life to the degree of throwing it away 
too prodigally 5 fo they are not (b inde- 
cently fond of it, that when they fee 
they muft facrifice it honourably, they 
will preferve it by bafe and unbecoming 
Methods. . In the greateft heat of Aftion, 
the braveft of their Youth, that have 
jointly devoted themfelves for that piece 
of Service, fingle out the General of their 
Enemies, and fet on him either openly, or 
lay an Ambufcade for him : if any of 
them are fpent and wearied in the At- 
tempt, others come in their ftead, fo that 
they never give over purfuing him, either 
by clofe Weapons, when they can get near 
him, or thofe that wound at a diftanceV 
when others get in between : thus they, 
feldom fail to kill or take him at laft, if 
he does not fecure himfelf by flight. When 
they gain the Day in any Battel, they kill 
as few as poffibly they can 5 and are much 
more fet on taking many Prifoners, than 
on killing thofe that fly before them : nor 
do they ever let their Men fo loofe in the 
flurfuit of their Enemies, that they do 
not retain an entire Body ftiU in orders 


UTOPIA. 169 

fo that if they have been forced to en- 
gage the laft of their Battalions,before they 
could gain the day, they will rather let 
their Enemies all efcape than purfue them^ 
when their own Army is in diforder^ re- 
membring well what has often fallen out to 
thetnfelves 3 that when the main Body of 
their Army has been quite defeated and 
broken, fo that their Enemies reckoning 
the Vidory was fare and in their hands, 
have let themfelves loofe into an irregular 
purfuit, a few of them that lay for a re* 
ferve, waiting a fit opportunity, have fal- 
len on them while they were in this chafe, 
ftragiing and in diforder, apprehenfive of 
no danger, but counting the Day their 
own 5 and have turned the whole Afti* 
on, and fo wrefting out of their hands a 
Vidory that feemed certain and undoub- 
ted, the vanquiftied have of a fudden be- 
<:ome viftorious. 

It is hard to tell whether they are more 
dextrous in laying or avoiding Ambuthes : 
they fometimes (eem to fly when it is far 
from their thoughts 5 and when they in- 
tend to give Ground, they do it (b, that 
It is very hard to find out their Defign. 
If they fee they are ill pofted, or are like 
to be overpawred by numbers^ then they 

N eithef 

1 JO Sir Thomas More'j 

either march off in the Night with great 
filence, or by fome Stratagem they delude 
their Enemies : if they retire in the day- 
time, they do it in fuch order, that it is 
no kfi dangerous to fall upon them in a 
Retreat, than in a March. They fortify 
their Camps well, with a deep and large 
Trench 5 and throw up the Earth that i« 
dug out of it for a Wall 5 nor do they 
employ only their Slaves in this, but the 
^'hole Army works at it, Except thofe that 
are then upon the Guard , fo that when 
(b many hands are at work, a great Line 
and a ftrong Fortification is finiOied in (b 
(hort a time,that it is (carce credible. Their 
Armour is very ftrong for defence, and yet 
is not fo heavy as to make them uneafy in 
their Marches 5 they can even fwim with 
it. All that are trained up to War, pra- 
ctile fwimming much : both Horfe and 
Foot, make great ufe of Arrows, and are 
very expert at it : they have no Swords, 
but fight with a Poll-ax that is both (harp 
and. heavy, by which they thruft or ftrike 
down an Enemy 5 they are very good at 
finding out warlike Machines, and di(guife 
them fo well, that the Enemy does not per- 
ceive them, till he feels the ufe of them 3 fo 
that he cannot prepare fuch a Defence a- 


UTOPIA. 171 

gainfl: them, by which they might be made 
ridiculous, as well as uftlefs 5 the chief 
confideration had in the making of them^, 
is, that they may be eafily carried and ma-' 

If they agree to a Truce, -they obfervej 
it fo religioufly, that no provocations \Viir 
make them break it. They never lay their 
Enemies Country wafte, nor burn their 
Corn, and even in their Marches they take 
all poffible care, that neither Horfe nor 
Foot may tread it down, for they do not 
know but that they may have ufe for it 
themfelves. They hurt no Man that they 
find difarmed, unlef^ he is a Spy. When a 
Town is furrendred to them, they take it 
into their Prote^ion : and when they car- 
ry a place by ftorm, they never plunder it, 
but put thofe only to the Sword that op- 
pofed the rendring ol it, and make the 
reft of the Garifon Slaves: but for the 
Other Inhabitants, they do them no hurt ^ 
and if any of them had advifed a furren- 
derofit, iheygive them good Rewards 
out of the Eftates of thofe that they con- 
demn, and diftribute the reft among their 
Auxiliary Troops, but they themkives 
lake no (hare of the Spoil. 

When a War is ended, they do not ob-- 

171 Sir Thomas Motes 

lige their Friends to reimburfe them of 
their expence in it ^ but they take that 
from the conquered, either in Mony which 
they keep for the next occa(ion,or in Lands, 
out of which a conftant Revenue is to be 
pid them 5 by many increafes, the Reve- 
nue which they draw out from fcveral 
Countries on fuch Occafions, is now rifen 
to above 700000 Ducats a Year. They 
fend fome of their own People to receive 
thefe Revenues, who have orders to live 
magnificently, and like Princes, and jfo 
^ they confume much of it upon the place 5 
and either bring over the reft to t)topia^ 
or lend it to that Nation in which it lies. 
This they moft commonly do, unlels (bme 
great occafion which falls out, but very 
feldom,fhould oblige them to call for it all. 
It is out of thefe Lands that they affign 
thofe Rewords to fuch as they encourage 
to adventure on defpcrate Attempts, 
which was snentioned formerly. If any 
Prince that engages in War with them, is 
making preparations for invading their 
Country, they prevent hina, and make his 
Country the Seat of the War ^ for they 
do not willingly i&ffer any War to break 
in upon their Ifland 5 and if that (hould 
happen, they woukl only defend them- 


UTOPIA. i7j 

fclves by their own People 5 but would 
hot at all call for Auxiliary Troops to 
their affiftance. 

Of the Religions of the Utopians. 

THere are (everal (brts of Religiom, 
not only in different parts of the 
Idand, but even in every Town 5 fome 
worfhipping the Sun, otl^rs the Moon, or 
one of the Planets: fome wor(hip luch 
Men as have been eminent in former 
times for Vertue, or Glory, not only as 
ordinary Deities, but as the fupream 
God : yet the greater and wifer fort of 
them worfhip none of thefe, but adore one 
Eternal, Invifible, Infinite, and Incom- 
prehenfible Deity 3 as a Beings that is far 
above all our Apprehenfions, that is fpread 
over the whole Univerfe, not by its Bulk, 
but by its Power and Vertue 5 him they ^ 
call the Father of all^ and acknowledg 
that the beginnings, the encreafe, the pro- 
gpcfi, the viciffitudes, and the end of all 
things come only from him 5 nor do they 
^bflfer divine honouts to any but to hin^ 
alone. And indeed, tho they differ con- 
cerning other things, yet all agree in this 5 
fhat they think there is one fupream Being 

1 74 Sir Thomas More'^ 

that made and governs the World, whom 
^hey call in the Language of their Coun- 
try, t^Wthras. They differ in this, that 
one thinks the God whom he worfhips is 
this Supream Being, and another thinks 
that his Idol is that God 5 but they all 
agr^e in one principle,that whatever \s this 
Supream Being, is alfo that Great Eflence, 
tp wliofe Glory and Majefty all honours 
are afcribed by the confent of all Nations. 

By degrees, they all fall off from the 
various Superftitions that are among them, 
and grow up to that one Religion that is 
jnoft in requeft, and is much the beft : 
and there is no doubt tq be made, but 
that all the others had vaniflied long ago, 
ifithad not happned that fome unlucky 
Accidents, falling on thofe who were 
advifing the change of tho(e fuperftitious 
ways of Worlhip 5 theft have been a(cri- 
bcd npt to Chance, but to fomevy'hat from 
Heaven ^ and fo have railed in them a fear, 
that the God,whofe Worfliip was like to be 
abandoned, has interpofed and revenged 
himfelf on tho(e that defigned it. 

After they had heard from us, an ac- 
ipouiu of the Doftrine, the courfe of 
Life, and the Miracles of Chrift, and of 
the wonderful conftancy of fo many M^r- 
.^ " •• ■ • • ^ ^yr5^ 

UTOPIA. ,7j 

tyrs, who(e Blood, that was Co willingly 
offered up by them, was the chief oc- 
cafion of (preading their Religion over a 
vaft number of Nations^ it is pot to be 
imagined how inclined they were to re- 
ceive it. ' I (faall not determine whether 
this proceeded from any feerct in(piration 
of God, or whether it was becaufe it 
(eemed fo favorable to that community of 
Goods, which is an opinion (b particular, 
as well as (b dear to them 5 fince they 
perceived that Chrift and his Followers 
lived by that Rule 5 and that it was ftill 
kept up in (bme Communities among the 
fincereft (brt of Chriftians. From which 
fbever of thefe Motives it might be, true ic 
is, that many of them came over to our 
Religion, and were initiated into it by 
Baptifm. But as two of our number were 
dead, (b none of the four that (iirvived^ , 
were in Priefts Orders 5 therefore v^;g 
could do no more but baptize them 5 Co 
that to our great regret, they could not 
partake of the other Sacraments, that 
can only be adminiftred by Priefts : but 
they are inftrufted concerning them, and 
long moft vehemently for them 3 and 
they were difputing very much among 
themftlves, Whether one that were chofcri 

N 4 ^y 

tyS Str Thomas Mote'^ 

by them to be a Preift, would not be ■ 
thereby qualified to do alttbc things that 
belong to that Charafter, even tho he bad^.^ 
no Authority derived from the Pope 5k 
and they feemed to be refoljved to cbufe 
Ibme for that Imployment, but they had 
not done it when I left them. " 

Thole among them that have not re- 
ceived our Religion, yet do not fright 
any from it, and ufe none ill that goes 
over to it 5 fo that all the while I wa* 
there, one Man was only puniQied on tbis^ 
occafion. lie being newly baptized, did, 
notwithftanding all that we could fay 
to the contrary, difpute publickly con- 
cerning the Chriftian Keligion, with more * 
zeal than di(cretion ^ and with ib much 
heat, that be not only preferred our Wor- 
(hip to theirs, but condemned all their 
Rites as profane 5 and cried out againft all 
that adhered to them, as impious and 
facrilegious Perfbns, that were to be dam- 
ned to everlafting Burnings. Upon this 
he, having preached thefe things often,, 
was (eized on, and after a Trial, he wa^ 
condemned to banithment, not for having ; 
difparaged their Pieligion, but fpr his, 
inflaming the People to Sedition : for this 
is one of their ancientefl: Laws, that no 



UTOJ?lA- 177 

Man ought to be puniQied for his Religi- 
on. At the firft conftitution of their Go- 
vement, Vtopus having undcrftood, that 
before his coming among them,the old In- 
habitatis had been engaged in grtat mtaneh 
eoiicerning Religion, by which they were 
fo broken amoi^ thcmfelves, that he 
found It an eafy thing to conquer them, 
Finee they did not unite their Forces 
againfthim, but every different Party m 
Rehgion foi^ht by themfelves : upon that, 
aiecr he had fubdued them, he made a 
Law that every Man might be of what 
Religion he pleafed, and might endeavor 
to draw others to it by the force of Ar- 
gument, and by amicable and modeft 
ways, but without bitternefs againft 
thofe of other Opinions 5 but that he 
ought to ufe no other Force but that of 
Perfuafions and was neither to mixt Re- 
proaches nor Violence with it 5 and fuch 
as did othcrwift, were to be condemned 
to Baniftiment or Sbvery. 

This Law was made by Vteptts^ not 
only for preferving the Publick Peace 
which he few fuffered much by daily Con- 
tentions and Irreconcilable Heats in thefc 
Matters, but becaufe he thought the In- 
tereft of Religion it felf required it; 


1 7 8 Sir Thomas M ores 

He judged it was not fit to determine any 
thing ra(hly in that Mattery and feemed' 
to doubt whether thofe different Forms 
of Rehgton might not all come from God,- 
who might infpire Men differently, he be-^ 
ing poffibly pleafed with a variety in it r 
and fo he thought it was a very indecent 
and foolifh thing for any Man to frightenv 
and threaten other Men to believe any^ 
thing becaufe it feemed true to him, and- 
in cafe th^t one Religion were certainly- 
uue, and all the reft falfe, he reckoned 
that the native Force of Truth would 
break forth at laft, and (hine bright, if it^ 
were managed only by the ftrength of 
Argument, and with a winning gentle- 
nefs 5 whereas if fuch Matters were car- 
ried on by Violence and Tumults, then,* 
as the wickedeft fort of Men is always 
the moft obftinate, fo the holieft and beft 
Religion in the World might be overlaid 
with fo much fooli(h fuperftition, that it 
would be quite cboaked with it, as Corn- 
is with Briars and Thorns s therefore he 
left Men wholly to their liberty in this 
ipauer, that they might be free to beleive 
as they (hould fee caufe , only he made 
afolemnand fevereLaw againft fuch as 
(hould fo far degenerate from the dig^nity 


UTOPIA. 179 

of humane Nature^ as to think that our 
Souls died with our Bodies, or that the 
World was governed by Chance, with- 
out a wife over-ruling Providence : for 
they did all formerly believe that there 
was a ftate of Rewards and Puni(hments 
to the Good and Bad after this Life 5 and 
they look on thofe that think otherwife, 
as fcarce fit to be counted Men, fince 
they degrade fo noble a Being as our 
Soul is, and reckon it to be no better 
than a Beaft s 5 fo far are they from 
looking on fuch Men as fit for humane 
fociety, or to be Citizens of a well- 
ordered Common- Wealth 5 fince a Man 
of fuch Principles muft needs, as oft as 
he dares do it, defpife all their Laws and 
Cuftoms: for there is no doubt to be 
made, that a Man who is afFraid of no- 
thing but the Law, and apprehends no- 
thing after death, will not ftand to break 
through all the Laws of his Country, 
either by fraud or force, that fo he may 
fatisfy his Appetites. They never railc 
any that hold thefe Maxims, either to Ho» 
Hours or Offices, nor imploy them in a- 
ny publick Truft, but defpife them, as 
Men of ba(e and (brdid Minds ; yet they 
do not punifti them, becaufe they lay this 


1 8o Sir Thomas More'^ 

doun for a ground, that a Man cannot 
make himfelf beleive any thinghe pleafes 5 
nor do they drive any to diflcmble tfeeir 
thoughts b^ threatnings, fothat Men are 
not tempted to lie or difguife their Opi- 
nions among them ^ which being a fort of 
Fraud, is abhorred by the Vtcptdfti : they 
take indeed care that they may not argue 
for thefe Opinions, efpecially before the 
common People : But they do fuflfer, and 
even encourage them to difpute concern* 
ing them in private with their Priefts, and 
and other grave Men, being confident 
that they will be cured of thofe mad 
Opinions, by having reafon laid before 
them. There are many among them that 
run far to the other extream, tho it is 
neither thought an ill nor unreafonablc 
Opinion, and therfore is not at all diP 
couraged. They think that the Souls of 
Beafts are immortal, tho far inferior to 
the dignity of the humane Soul, and not 
capable of fo great a happine(s. They 
are almoft all of them very firmly per- 
fwaded, that good Men will be infinitely 
happy in another ftate 5 fo that tho they 
are compaffionate to all that are fick, yet 
they lament no Man s Death, except they 
fee him part with Life uneafy, and as if he 
, wer^ 

UTOPIA. ,8i 

were forced to it ; For they look on this 
as a vtry Ul perfage, as if the Soul being 
confcious to it felf of Guilt, and quiti 
hopelefe, were afifraid to die, from fome 
lecret hints of approaching mifery. They 
think that fuch a Man's appearance before 
Opd, cannot be acceptable to him, who 
being called on, does not go out chear- 
Mly, but IS backward and unwilling, 
and IS, as it were, dragged to it. They 
are (truck with horror, when they fee 
any die in this manner, and carry them 
out in filence, and with forrow, and 
praying God that he would be merciful 
to the Errors of the departed Sou), 
they lay the Body in the Ground : but 
when any die chearfuUy, and full of 
hope, they do not mourn for them, but 
hng Hymns when they carry out their 
Bodies, and commending their Souls very 
earneftly to God, in fuch a manner, that 
their whole behaviour is rather grave 
then fad, they burn their Body, and 
fet up a Pillar where the Pile was made, 
with an Infcription to the honour of fuch 
Mens memory 5 And when they come 
trom the Funeral, they difcourfe of their 
good Life, and worthy Anions, but 
ipeak of nothing oftner and with more 


1 8 1 Sir T homas MoreV 

pleafure, than of their ferenity at their 
Death. They think fuch refpeft paid to 
ih^ memory of good Men, is both the 
greateft Incitement to engage others to 
follow their Example, an4 themoft accep- 
table Worfhip that can be offered them 5 
for they believe that tho by the imper- 
feftion of humane fight, they are invi- 
fible to us, yet they are prefent among us, 
and hear thofe Difcourfes that pafs con- 
cerning themfelves. And they think that 
it does not agree to the happinefs of de- 
parted Souls, not to be at liberty to be 
where they will: nor do they imagine 
them capable of the ingratitude of not 
defiring to fee thofe Friends, with whom 
they lived on Earth in the ftrifteft Bonds 
of Love and Kindnefs rand they judg,that 
fach good Principles, as all other good 
Things, are rather encreafed than leffened 
in good Men after their death : fo that 
they conclude they are ftill among the 
living, and do obferve all that is faid or 
done by them. And they engage in all Af^ 
fairs that they fet about, with fo much the 
more affarance, trufting to their pro- 
tection 5 and the opinion that they have 
oi their Anccftors being ftill prefent, is a 




great reftraint on them from ailill De- 

:- They defpife and laugh at all forts of 
Auguries, and the other vain and fuper- 
ftitious ways of Divination, that are Co 
much obferved among other Nations 5 
but they have great reverence for fuch 
Miracles as cannot flow from any of the 
iTl^' ^f Nature, and look on them as 
i^tiefts and Indications of the prefcnce of 
the Supream Being, of which they fay 
inany Inftances have occurred among 
them, and that fometimes their publick 
Prayers, which upon great and dangerous 
Occafions they have folemoly put up to 
God, with affured confidence of being 
heard, have been anfwered in a miraculous 

They think the contemplating God in 
his Works, and the adoring him for them, 
is a very acceptable piece of VVorftiip to 
him. ^ 

-There are many among them, that up- 
f on a motive of Religion, negledi Lear- 
ning, and apply themfelves to no fort of 
ftudy 5 nor do they allow themfelves any 
|eafure-time,but are perpetually imployed 
m domg fomewhat, believing that by the 
good things that a Man docs he fecures to 


1 84 S'** Thomas Uote's 

himfelf that happinefs that comes after 
Death. Some of thefe vifit the Sick ^ 
others mend High-ways, cleaofe Ditches, 
or repair Bridges, and dig Turf, Gravel, 
or Stones. Others fell and cleave Timber, 
and bring Wood, Corn, and other 
Neceflaries, on Carts, into their Towns. 
Nor do thefe only fervethe PublKk,but 
they ferve even Private Men, more than 
the Slaves themfdves do: for ^ tbf'e.'j 
any where a rough, hard, and fordid 
piece of work to be done, from which 
l^any are frightned by the labour and 
loathfomencfs of it, if not thedefpair of ac- 
compliftiing it, they do chearfully, and of 
their own accord, take that to their (hare 5 
and by that meam,as they eafe others very 
much, fo they arBift themfelves, and fpcnd 
their whole life in hard Laborand yet they 
do not value themfdves upon that, nor 
leflen other peoples credit, that by fo 
doing they may raife their own 5 but by 
their^ {topping to f«:h fervile Employ- 
ments, th^ are fo fat from bang de^ 
fpifed, that they are fo much the more 
efteemed by the whole Nation. 

Of thefe there are two for" : Some 
live unmarried and chaft,and abftam from • 
eating any fort of Flefli j and thus wean- 

UTOPIA. i8j 

ing them(elves from all the pieafures of 
the prefent Life, which they account 
hurtful, they purfue, even by the har- 
defl: and painfuUeft methods poflible, that 
blejQTednefs which they hope for hereafter 5 
and the nearer they approach to it, they 
are the more chearful and earneft in their 
endeavours after it. Another fort of them 
is lels willing to put themlelves to much 
toil, and fo they prefer a married ftate to 
a lingle one 5 and as they do not deny 
themftlves the pleafiire of it, fo they 
think the begetting of Children is a debt 
which they owe to Humane Nature, and 
to their Country : nor do they avoid any 
Pleafure that does not hinder Labour 5 
and therefore they eat FleCh fo much the 
more willingly, becaufe they find them- 
felves fo much the more able for work by 
it : The Vtofians look upon thefe as the 
wifer Sed^ but they efteem the others as 
the holier. They would indeed laugh at 
any Man, that upon the Principles of Rea* 
fon, would prefer an unmarried ftate to a 
married, or a Life of Labour to an cafy 
Life ; but they reverence and admire fuch 
as do it upon a Motive of Religion. 
There is nothing in which they are more 
cautious, than in giving their Opinion po* 

O fitively 

86 Sir Thomas MoreV 


fitively concerning any fort of Religion, 
The Men that lead thofe fevere Lives, are 
called in the Language of their Country 
nBruthesko'S^ which anfwers to thofe we call 
Religious Orders. 

Their Priefts are Men of eminent Pie- 
ty, and therefore they are but few, for 
there are only thirteen in every Town, 
one for every Temple in it 5 but when 
they go to War, feven of the(e go out 
with their Forces, and feven others are 
chofen to fupply their room in their ab- 
fence ^ but thele enter again upon their 
Employment wlien they return 5 and 
thofe who ferved in their ablence, attend 
upon the High Prieft, till Vacancies fall 
by Death 5 for there is one that is fet over 
all the reft. They are chofen by the Peo- 
ple, as the other Magiftrates are, by Suf- 
frages given in fecret, for preventing of 
Faftions : and when they are chofen, they 
are confecrated by the College of Priefts. 
The care of all Sacred Things, and the 
VVorfliip of God, and an infpeftion into 
the Manners of the People, is committed 
to them. It is a reproach to a Man to be 
fent for by any of them, or to be even 
fpoke to in fecret by them, for that always 
gives fome fufpicions ; all that is incum- 


bent on them, is only to exhort and ad- 
monifti People 5 for the power of correct- 
ing and puniftiing ill Men, belongs wholly 
to the Prince, and to the other Magi- 
ftrates ; The fevereft thing that tlie Prieft 
does, is the excluding of Men that are de- 
fperately wicked from joining in their 
WorQiip :Tbere*s not any fort of Punifh- 
ment that is more dreaded by them than 
this, for as it loads them with Infamy, ib it 
fills them with fecret Horrors, fuch is their 
reverence to their Religion 5 nor will 
their Bodies be long exempted from their 
Ihare of trouble 5 for if they do not very 
quickly fatisfy the Priefts of the truth of 
their Repentance, they are feized on by 
the Senate, and punifhed for their Impie-^ 
ty. The breeding of the Youth belongs* 
to the Priefts, yet they do not take fa 
much care of initrufting them in Letters, 
as of forming their Minds and Manners 
aright 5 and they ufe all poffible Methods 
to infufe very early in the tender and 
flexible Minds of Children, futh Opinio 
ons as are both good in themfelves, and 
will be ufeful to their Country : for 
when deep impreffions of thefe things 
are made at that Age, they follow Men 
through the whole co^urfe of their Lives^ 

i88 Sir Thomas Motes 

and conduce much for the preferving the 
Peace of the Government, which fuffers 
by nothing more than by Vices that rife 
out of ill Opinions. The Wives of their 
Priefts are the moft extraordinary Women 
of the whole Country 5 fometimes the 
Women themfelves are made Priefts, tho 
that falls out but feldom, nor are any but 
ancient Widows choien into that Order. 

None of the Magiftrates have greater 
honour paid them, than is paid the 
Priefts 5 and if they ftiould happen to 
commit any Crime,they would not be quc- 
ftioned for it : their Punifhment is left to 
God, and to their own Confciences : for 
they do not think it lawful to lay hands 
on any Man, how wicked foever he is, 
that has been in a peculiar manner dedi- 
cated to God 5 nor do they find any great 
inconvenience in this, both becaufe they 
have fo few Priefts, and becaufe thefe are 
chofen with much caution, (b that it muft 
be a very unufual thing to find one who 
was meerly out of regard to his Vertue, 
and for his being efteemed a fingularly 
good Man, raiied up to fo great a digni- 
ty, degenerate into fuch Corruption and 
Vice : and if (uch a thing ftiould fall 
out, for Man is a changeable Creature 5 



yet there being a few Priefts, and thefe 
having no Authority, but* that which 
rifes out of the refpe(9: that is paid them, 
nothing that is of great Confequence to 
the Publick, can come from the indemnity 
that the Priefts enjoy. 

They have indeed very few of them, 
left greater Numbers ftiaring in the feme 
honour, might make the dignity of that 
Order which they efteem fo highly, to 
fink in its Reputation : they alfo think it 
is hard to find out many that are of fuch a 
pitch of Goodnefs, as to be equal to that 
dignity for which they judg that ordinary 
Vertues do not qualify a Man fuflici* 
ently : nor are the Priefts in greater ve- 
neration among them, than they are a- 
mong their Neighbouring Nations, as you 
may imagine by that which I think gives 
occafion for it. 

When the Utopians engage in a Bat- 
tel, the Priefts that accompany them to 
the War, kneel down during the Aftion, 
in a place not far from the Field, appa- 
ralled in their Sacred Veftments ; and 
lifting up their Hands to Heaven, they 
pray, firft for Peace, and then for Vifto- 
ry to their own fide, and particularly 
that it may be gained without the effufion 
' O 3 of 

Sir Thomas More'^ 

of much Blood on either fide ^ and when 
the Vidiory turns to their fide, they run in 
among their own Men to refl:rain their 
Fury 5 and if any of their Enemies fee 
them, or call to them, they are preferved 
by that means : and fuch as can come fo 
near them as to touch their Garments, 
have not only their Lives, but their For- 
tunes fecured to them : It is upon this ac- 
count, that all the Nations round about 
coiifidcr them fo much, and pay them fo 
great reverence, that they have been of- 
ten no left able to preferve their own 
People from the fury of their Enemies, 
than to (ave their Enemies from their 
rage : for it has fometimes fallen out, that 
when their Armies have been in difbrder, 
and forced to fly, fo that their Enemies 
were running upon the flaughter and 
fpoil, the Priefts by interpofing, have 
iiop'd the fnedding of more Blood, and 
have (eparated them from one another ^ 
fo that by their Mediation, a Peace has 
been concluded on very reafonable 
ITerms 5 nor is there any Nation about 
them fo fierce, cruel, or barbarous, as not 
to look upon their Perfons as Sacred and 


UTOPIA. ,91 

The firft and the laft day of the Moniji, 
and of the Year, is a Feftival ; they mea- 
fure their Months by the courfe of the 
Moon 5 and their Years by the courfe of 
the Sun ; The firft days are called in 
their Language the Cymmernes^ and the 
laft the Trapemernes^ which anfwers in 
our Language to the Feftival that begins, 
or ends the Seifon. 

They have magnificent Temples, that 
are not only nobly built, but are like- 
wife of great Reception ; which is necef- 
(ary, fince they have fo few of them : 
They are a little dark within, which flows 
hot from any Error in their Architedure, 
but is done on defign 5 for their Priefts 
think that too much light diffipates the 
thoughts, and that a more moderate de- 
gree of it, both recollefts the Mind, and 
raifes Devotion. Tho there are many 
different Forms of Religion among them, 
yet all thefe, how various fqever, agree 
in the main Point, which is the worlliip- 
ping the Divine Effence 5 and therefore 
there is nothing to be feen or heard in 
their Temples, in which the feveral Per- 
fwafions among them may not agree s for 
every Seft performs thofe Rites that are 
peculiar to it, in their private Houfes^nor 

Q 4 is 

'^ _ : — TTT^ — '. — . - y-'-j, _- ' ■-■■ . "I" 

I p X Sir Thomas More'f 

is there any thing in the Publick Wor- 
(hip, that contradifts the particular ways 
of thofe different Sefts. There are no 
Images for God in their Temples, lb that 
every one may reprefent him to his 
thoughts, according to the way of his 
Religion 5 nor do they call this one God 
by any other Name, but that of Mithras^ 
which is the common Nam^ by which 
they all exprefs the Divine Effence, 
whatfoever otherwife they think it to be ^ 
nor are there any Prayers among them, 
but fuch as every one of them may ufe 
without prejudice to his own Opinion. 

They meet in their Temples on the 
Evening of the Feftival that concludes 
a Seafon : and not having yet broke 
their Faft, they thank God- for their 
good fuccefi during that Year or Month, 
which is then at an end : and the next day, 
being that which begins the new Seafon, 
they meet early in their Temples, to pray 
for the happy Progrels of all their Affair^ 
during that Period, upon which they 
then enter. In the Feftival which con- 
cludes the Period, before they go to the 
Temple, both Wives and Children fall 
on their Knees before their Hulbands or 
Parents, and confefi every thing in which 




they have either erred or failed in thei? 
Duty, and beg pardon for it : Thus all 
little Difcontents in Families are remo- 
ved, that fo they may offer up their De- 
votions with a pure and ferene mind 5 
for they hold it a great impiety to enter 
upon them with difturbed thoughts 5 or 
when they are confcious to themfelves 
that they bear Hatred or Anger in their 
Hearts to any Perfon 5 and think that 
they (hould become liable to fevere Pu- 
nifbments, if they prefumed to offer Sa- 
crifices without cleanfing their HeartSj 
and reconciling all their Differences. In 
the Temples, the two Sexes are (eparated, 
the Men go to the right hand, and the 
Women to the left ; and the Males and 
Females do all place themfelves before the 
Head, and Mafter or Miftrefs of that Fa- 
mily to which they belong 5 fb that 
thofe who have the Government of them 
at home, may (ee their deportment in 
publick : and they intermingle them fb, 
that the younger and the older may be 
fet by one another 5 for if the younger 
fort were ad fet together, they would 
perhaps trifle away that time too much, 
in which they ought to beget in them- 
felves a rnoft religious dread of the Su- 


1 94 Sir Thomas More'j 

pream Being, which is thegreateft, and 
almoft the only incitement to Vertue. 

They offer up no living Creature in 
Sacrifice, nor do they think it fuitable to 
the Divine Being, from vi^hofe Bounty it 
is that thefe Creatures have derived their 
Lives, to take pleafure in their Death, or 
the offering up their Blood. They burn 
Incenfe, and other fweet Odours, and 
have a great number of Wax Lights du- 
ring their Worftiip ^ not out of any Ima- 
gination that fuch Oblations can add any 
thing to the Divine Nature , for even 
Prayers do not that 5 but as it is a harm- 
lefi and pure way of worfliipping God, 
Co they think thofe fweet Savors and 
Lights, together with (bme other Cere- 
monies, do, by a fecret and unaccounta- 
ble Vertue, elevate Mens Souls, and" in- 
flame them with more force and chearful- 
jiefi during the Divine Worlhip. 

The People appear all ia the Temples 
in white Garments 5 but the PrieftsVeft- 
nients are particoloured 5 both the Work 
and Colours are wonderful : they are 
made of no rich Materials, ^r they are 
neither embroidered, nor (et with preci- 
ous Stones, but are compofed of the 
Plumes of feveral Birds, laid together 


UTOPIA. 195 

with Co much Art, and fo neatly, that the 
true value of them is far beyond the coft- 
Heft Materials. They fay, that in the or- 
dering and placing thole Plumes, Ibme 
dark Myfteries are reprefented, which 
pa(s down among their Priefts in a fecret 
Tradition concerning them $ and that they 
are as Hieroglyphicks, putting them in 
mind of the Bleflings that they have re- 
ceived from God, and of their Duties, 
both to him and to their Neighbours. As 
foon as the Prieft appears in thofe Orna- 
ments, they all fall proftrate on the 
Ground, with (b much reverence and fo 
deep a filence, that fuch as look on, can- 
not but be ftruck with it, as if it were 
the efFeft of the appearance of a Deity. 
After they have been for fome time in 
this pofture, they all ftand up, upon a 
(ign given by the Prieft, and fing (bme 
Hymns to the Honour of God, (bme mu- 
fical Inftruments playing all the while. 
Thefe are quite of another form than 
thofe that are ufed among us : but, as 
many of them are much fweeter than ours, 
fo others are not to be compared to thofe 
that we have. Yet in one thing they ex- 
ceed us much, which is, that all their Mu- 
fickj both Vocal and Inftrumental, does 


1^6 S/> Thomas More'x 

fo imitate and exprefi the Paffions, and is fo 
fitted to the prefent occafion, whether the 
fubjeiS matter of the Hymn is chearful, 
or made to appeafe, or troubled, doleful, 
or angry 5 that the Mufick makes an 
impreflion of that which is repre(ented, 
by which it enters deep into the Hearer^, 
and does very much afFeft and kindle 
them. When this is done, both Priefts 
and People offer up very folemn Pray- 
ers to God in a fet Form of Words 5 and 
thefe are (b compofed, that whatfoever 
is pronounced by the whole Affembly, 
may be likewife applied by every Man 
in particular to his own condition $ in 
thefe they acknowledg God to be the 
Author and Governor of the World, 
and the Fountain of all the Good that 
they receive ^ for which they offer up 
their Thankfgivings to him 3 and ip par- 
ticular, they ble(s him for his Goodnefi 
in ordering it fo, that they arc born 
under a Government that is the happieft 
in the World, and are of a Religion 
;hat they hope is the trueft of all others ; 
but if they are miftaken, and if there is 
either a better Government, or a Relir 
gion more acceptable to God, they im* 
plore his Goodnels to let them know it, 
o: vowing 


vowing, that they refblve to follow him 
whitherlbever he leads them : but if their 
Government is the beft, and their Reli- 
gion the trueft, then they pray that he 
may fortify them in it, and bring all the 
World, both to the fame Rules of Life, 
and to the feme Opinions concerning 
himlelf 5 unlets, according to the un- 
fearchablenefs of his Mind, he is pleafed 
with a variety of Religions. Then they 
pray that God may give them an eafy 
pafl'age at laft to himfelf 3 not prefiiming 
to (et limits to him, how early or late it 
fliould be 5 but if it may be wiQi'd for, 
without derogating from his Supream Au- 
thority, they defire rather to be quickly 
delivered, and to go to God, tho by the 
terribleft fort of Death, than to be de- 
tained long from feeing him, in the molt 
profperous courfe of Life pofiible. When 
this Prayer is ended, they all fall down 
again upon the Ground, and after a little 
while they rife up, and go home to 
Dinner 3 and fpend the reft of the day 
in diverfion or Military Exercifes. 

Thus have I defcribed to you^ as parti- 
cularly as I could, the Conftitution of 
that Common-Wealth, which I do not 
only think to be the beft in the World, 


1 9 8 Sir Thomas MoteV 

but to be indeed the only Common-Wealth 
that truly deferves that name. In all 
other places, it is vifible, that whereas 
People talk of a Common-Wealthy every 
Man only feeks his own Wealth 5 but there 
where no Man has any Property, all Men 
do zealoufly purfue the good of the Pub- 
lick : and indeed, it is no wonder to fee 
Men aft fo differently, for in other 
Common-Wealths, every Man knows, 
that unlets he provides for himfelf, how 
flouriftiing foever the Common-Wealth 
may be, he mult die of Hunger 3 fo that 
he (ees the neceffity of preferring his own 
Concerns to the Publick^ but in ZJtopia^ 
where every Man has a right to every thing, 
they do all know, that if care is taken to 
keep the Publick Stores full, no private 
Man can want any thing 3 for among 
them there is no unequal diftribution, fo 
• that no Man is poor, nor in any neceffity 5 
and tho no Man has any thing, yet they 
are all rich , for what can make a Man fo 
rich, as to lead a ferene and chearful Life, 
free from anxieties 5 neither apprehending 
want himfelf^ nor vexed with the end- 
lefi complaints of his Wife ? he is not 
afFraid of the mifery of his Children, nor 
is he contriving how to raife a Portion for 


UTOPIA. 199 

his Daughters, but is fecure in this, that 
both he and his Wife, his Children and 
Grand- Children, to as many Generations 
as he can fancy, will all live, both plen- 
tifully and happily, fince among them 
there is no Itfs care taken of thofe who 
were once engaged in Labour, but grow 
afterwards unable to follow it, than there 
is elfewhere for thefe that continue (till at 
it. I would gladly hear any Man com- 
pare the Juftice that is among them, with 
that which is among all other Nations 3 
among whom, maylperilh, if I fee any 
thing that looks either like Juftice, or 
Equity 3 for what Juftice is there in this, 
that a Noble-man, a Goldfinith, or a 
Banquer, or any other Man, that either 
does nothing at all, or at beft is imployed 
in things that are of no ufe to the Publick, 
ftiould live in great luxury and Iplendor, 
upon that which is fo ill acquired 5 and a 
mean Man, a Carter, a Smith, or a Plough- 
man, that works harder, even than the 
Beafts themfelves, and is imployed in La- 
bours that are fo neceffary, that no Com- 
mon-Wealth could holdout an Year to 
an end without them, can yet be able to 
earn fo poor a livelihood out of it, and 
muft lead fo miierable a Life in it, that 


too Sir Thomas More'^ 

the Beads condition is much better than 
theirs ? for as the Beafts do not work fo 
conftantly, fo they feed almoft as well, 
and more pleafantly 5 and have no anx* 
iety about that which is to come, where- 
as thefe Men are depreffed by a barren 
and fruitlefs Imployment, and are tormen- 
ted with the apprehenfions of Want in 
their old Age 5 fince that which they get 
by their daily Labour, does but maintain 
them at prefent, and is confumed as faft as 
it comes in 5 fo that there is no overplus 
left them which they can lay up for old 

Is not that Government both unjuft 
and ungrateful, that is fo prodigal of its 
Favors, 'to thole that are called Gentle- 
men, or Goldfmiths, or fuch others that 
are idle, or live, either by flattery, or by 
contriving the arts of vain Pleafure 5 and 
on the other hand, takes no care of thofe 
of a meaner fort, fuch as Ploughmen, 
Colliers, and Smiths, without whom it 
could not fubfift : but. after the Publick 
has been ferved by them, and that they 
come to be oppreft with Age, Sicknefi, 
and Want, all their Labours and the good 
that they have done is forgotten 5 and all 
the Recompence given them, is, that they 


UTOPIA. loi 

are left to die in great mifery s And the- 
richer fort are often endeavorirug to brings 
the hire of Labourers lower, not only by 
their fraudulent Praftices, but by the 
Laws which they procure to be made to 
that efied: : fo that tho it is a thing mofl: 
injuft in it felf, to give fuch foiall Rewards 
to thofe who deferve fo well of the Pub- 
lick) yet they have given thefe hardftiips 
the name and colour of Juftice , by 
procuring Laws to be made for regula- 
ting it. 

Therefore I muft fay, that as I hope 
for Mercy, I can have no other Notion of 
all the other Governments that I fee or 
know, than that they are a ConKpiracy of 
the richer fort, who on pretence of ma* 
naging the Publick, do only purfue their 
private Ends, and devife all the ways and 
arts that they can find out 5 firft,that they 
may, without danger, prefcrve all that 
they have fo ill acquired^ and then^ that 
they may engage the poorer fort to toil 
and labour for them, at as low rates as is 
poffiblC) and opptefs them as much as 
they pleafe : and if they can but prevail 
togetthefo Contrivances eftabliflied, by 
the (bow of Publick Authority^ which h 
coniidered as the repreientative of the 

2ot Sir Thomas Morc'i 

im ' I II II I I 11 

whole People, then they are accounted 
Laws : land yet thefe wicked Men after 
they have, byamoft inlatiable covetouC- 
ne(s, divided that among themfelves, with 
which all the reft might have been well 
lupplied, are far from that happinefi, 
that is enjoyed among the Utopians : for 
the u(e as well as the defire of Mony 
being extinguifhed, there is much anxiety 
and great occafions of Mifchief cut off 
with it : and who does not fee that Frauds, 
Thefts, Robberies, Quarrels, Tumults, 
Contentions, Seditions, Murders, Trea- 
cheries, and Witchcrafts, that are indeed 
rather punifhed than reftrained by the 
(everities of Law, would all fall ofi^ if 
Mony were not any more valued by 
the World? Mens Fears, Solicitude?, 
Cares, Labours, and Watchings, would 
all peri(h in the fime moment, that the 
value of Mony did fink : even Poverty 
it ikltf for the relief of which Mony 
feems moft neceffary, would fall, if there 
were no Mony in the World. And in 
order to the apprehending this aright, take 
one inftance. 

Confider any Year that has been Co un- 
fruitful, that many thoufands have died of 
Hungerjand yet if at the end of that Year a 


UTOPIA. xoi 

, — ;^ = — = ~ 1 

fiirvey were made of theGranaries of all the 
rich Men, that have hoarded up the Corn, 
it would be found that there was enough 
among them, to have prevented all that 
confiimption of Men that pcriftied in that 
Mifery : and that if it had been diftributed 
among them, none would have felt the 
terrible efFefts of that fcarcity 5, fo eafy a 
thing would it be to fupply all the necef- 
fitiesof Life, if that bleffed thing called 
i^ony^ that is pretended to be invented 
for procuring it, were not really the only 
thing that obftrufted it. 

I do not dpubt but rich Men are (en- 
fible of this, and tliat they know well 
how much a greater happinefi it were to />-~-^ 
want nothing that were neceffary, than to \J^>3^ 
^ibound in many fuperfluities 3 and to be 
refcued out of fo much Mifery, than to 
abound with fo much Wealth : and I can- 
not think but the fenfe of every Mans 
Intereft, and the Authority of Chirft's 
Commands, who as he was infinitely wife, 
and fo knew what was beft, fo was no 
kH good in difcovering it to us, would 
have drawn all the World over to the 
Laws of the Utopians^ if Pride^ that 
plague of Humane Nature, that is the 
fource of fo much mifery, did not hinder 

P 2 it I 

^ Q4 Sir Thomas Merely 

it ; which does not mqafure happinefs (b 
much by its own conveniences, as by the 
mifcfies of others 5 and would not be fa- 
tisfied with being thought a Goddefs^ if 
none were left that w^ere miferable, over 
vvhom (he flight infult 5 and thinks its 
own happinels fhines the brighter, by 
comparing it v/ith the misfortunes of 
other Perfons^ that fo by difplaying its 
own Wealth, they may feel their Poverty 
the more fenfibly. This is that infernal 
Serpent that creeps into the Breads of 
Mortals, and poflelfes them too much to 
be eafily drawn out : and therefore I am 
glad that the 'Utopians have fallen upon 
|his Form of Government, in which I 
wilh that all the World could be fo wife as 
to iaVitate them : for they have indeed laid 
^.lown luch a Scheme and Foundation of 
Poiicy, that as Men live happy under it, 
16 it is like to be of great continuance : 
for they having rooted out of the Minds 
of their People, all the Seeds, both of 
Ambition and Faxltion, there is no danger 
of any Commotions at Home : v/hich 
alone has been the ruin of many States, 
that fcemed otherwife to be well (ecured , 
but as long as they live in peace at home, 
and are governed by fuch gnod Laws, 


UTOPIA. 205 

the envy of all their Neighboring Princes^ 
who have often aitemped their Ruin, but 
in vain, will never be able to put their 
ftate into any Commotion or Difordcir. 

When Raphael had thus made an end of 
fpeaking, tho many things occurred to 
Hie, both concerning the Manners and 
Laws of that People, that feemed very 
abfurd, as well in their way of making 
of War, as in their Notions of Religion^ 
and Divine Matters 5 together with (everal 
other Particulars, but chiefly that which 
feemed the Foundation of all the reft, 
their living in common, without any ufe 
of Mony, by which all Nobility, Magni- 
ficence, Splendour, and Majefty 3 whichi 
according to the common Opinion, are 
• the true Ornaments of a Nation, would 
be quite taken away 5 Yet fince I fcrcd- 
V€dth2it1^i0pbael was weary, and Iwa? 
not fure whether he could eafily bear con- 
tradiftion in thefe Matters, remembring 
that he had taken notice of fome, who 
feemed to think that theyVwere bound in 
honour for fupporting the credit of their 
own Wifdom, to find out fome matter of 
cenfure in all other Mens Inventions, 
befides their own 5 therefore I only com- 
mended their Conftitution, and the ac- 

P 3 count 

to6 Sir Thomas MoreV, Sec. 

count Che had given of it in general 5 and 
£>;taki0g him by the hand, I carried him to 
(apper,and told him I would find out (bme 
other time for examining that matter more 
particularly, and for difcourfing more 
copioufly concerning it 5 for which I wi(h 
I may find a good opportunity. In the 
raean while, tho I cannot perfeftly agree 
to every thing that was related by Ku" 
phael, yet there are many things in the 
O)mmon- Wealth of Vtopia , that I ra- 
ther wi(h than hope to fee followed in 
our Governments ^ tho it muft be con* 
fefled, that he is both a very learned Man, 
and has had a great pradice in the 





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